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Breaking the Law!!  

on November 2, 2023 at 10:18am |Updated on January 9, 2024 at 10:55am A man wearing a balaclava is trying to break into a house using a crowbar. Text reads

I hate Cookie Banners

I do not dislike them. I hate them. They have set Website Accessibility back 10 years.

However, if you use any kind of analytics on your website, the law requires you to have one.

Here is one reason why

Recently I was joined by Iona, on a live audit of a NHS Trust website. It had a Cookie Banner, provided by a well-known 3rd party.

Iona cannot use her hands without great pain and relies on Dragon Dictation to navigate websites. She uses a mouse when she has no other choice but her degenerative condition means that one day she will not be able to use a mouse at all. This is why what she does, as part of my team of Accessibility Testers, is so important.

On the website, she was actually able to open the Cookie Banner and was presented with a choice of which Cookies to allow (beyond the necessary ones).

Unfortunately, she was not able to turn any of the optional Cookies off, due to the fact that the banner used an overlay that did not respond to voice control. So she was forced to accept all the Cookies, whether she wanted to or not.

Breaking two laws!

This means that the website is currently breaking both Data Privacy Law and the Equality Act.

Maybe some people may think this is no big deal. I happen to think it is.

Which is better, break one law intentionally to avoid breaking another one, or break both?

Data Privacy is important but I think the fact that over 96% of the top 1 million websites still fail basic accessibility tests in 2023 is far more important.

If you would like an introduction to website accessibility, please watch my TED Talk.

Caption: A man wearing a balaclava is trying to break into a house using a crowbar. Text reads "Breaking the law!"

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Clive Loseby
Access by Design

Beautiful, WCAG Compliant, Accessible Website Design
Delivering an Outstanding Website Accessibility Audit
Award-winning Web Design, Chichester

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