Here on Beamtic, I took great care to implement a cookie consent message, not just for European users, but everyone visiting the site. The problem is that implementing a consent mechanism based on GEO location, or whatever, to determine where a user is based, is simply too much work. The server-sided consent message was difficult enough to implement, because it was messing with the caching, and I am not willing to use third party solutions.
When the EU is capable of inventing laws, which invade the personal space of website owners and users, we have a huge problem. The intentions of the law may have been good, but it violates the rights of website owners, who should be able to design their websites the way they want, without breaking the law.
The law simply targets the wrong people. Instead, the politicians should have gone after browser developers. After all, they are the ones who have the resources to fix this for everyone, causing the least disruption.
Rules may be updated
Back in January the European Commission released a statement saying the rules may finally be updated, and recognizing the cookie provision resulted in an "overload of consent requests". To quote the relevant part:
Simpler rules on cookies: The so called "cookie provision", which has resulted in an overload of consent requests for internet users, will be streamlined. New rules will allow users to be more in control of their settings, providing an easy way to accept or refuse the tracking of cookies and other identifiers in case of privacy risks. The proposal clarifies that no consent is needed for non-privacy intrusive cookies improving internet experience (e.g. to remember shopping cart history). Cookies set by a visited website counting the number of visitors to that website will no longer require consent.
This is very good news for website owners and advertisers, as we may finally be able to get rid of our hated consent popups, legally. Instead, the user will likely be prompted, a single time, when they run their browser for the first time. This makes much more sense, and is also much more fair to website owners. Blocking cookies by default would be unacceptable, as we would have no ways to recognize individual users.