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“Majority" of the UK government's own websites will fail to comply in time for the Cookie Law deadline

The BBC has learned and reported that the “majority” of the UK government’s own websites will fail to comply in time – all UK sites have been given until 26 May to make sure visitors are able to give “informed consent” over cookies.

The Cabinet Office said the government was “working to achieve compliance at the earliest possible date”.

“As in the private sector, where it is estimated that very few websites will be compliant by the 26th May, so it is true of the government estate,” a Cabinet Office spokesman told the BBC.

“The majority of department websites will not be compliant with the legislation by that date.”

The BBC understands that the sites, which range from those run by local councils to national departments, have been told that no action will be taken by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) over the deadline miss – provided they were “showing a commitment” to eventually make changes.

While government websites do not carry advertising, cookies are still used to carry out various tasks, such as helping site administrators monitor levels of traffic.

“If people listen to our advice and are prepared to take steps towards compliance there shouldn’t be a problem,” Dave Evans, the ICO’s group manager for business and industry, told E-Consultancy last month.

“However, if businesses deliberately stop short of total compliance, then there is a risk.”