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is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

thisoldman
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is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?


I have just noticed that plusnet is offering , for a small monthly fee a new product will guarantee line speed at all times.
Yet under new powers which Ofcom is expecting to be granted shortly,  this product may well become illegal as it contravenes the principle of Net Neutrality.
Net neutrality is a principle that prevents ISP's from offering a superior service to customers or websites that pay extra.
So, how does plusnet reconcile their new service with the legal constraints about to be imposed by Ofcom. Will Plusnet be forced to cancel this product?
My second gipe is with cookies. On 26th may The EU introduced legislation thats says explicit consent now has to be obtained from  users or subscribers to a site before a company can place a cookie on their machine.
If you block cookies in your browser you will not be able to access the plusnet sites. You have no choice.
This is  not  consent.  As a consequence of refusing customers the right to opt out, will sites like plusnet face penalties from the EU.    As I understand the situation from  the EU, plusnet is wrong to insist that cookies be enabled to access their site.
Todate no web sites  are asking for consent. Is this another EU weird regulation or are websites deliberately breaking/ignoring EU legislation.?
59 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

The cookie blocking law is the most ridiculous law to have been passed in the EU ever.  It's technically unenforceable, will cause practically every website to stop functioning correctly and/or usefully if followed and frankly, I'd rather have websites ignore the ridiculous thing.
Heloman
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

The cookie law is not yet in force for at least a year:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13541250
Net neutrality has been discussed for years but I know of no forthcoming  Ofcom regulation. Have you a link?
All ISPs have been offering different degrees of service at different prices. The more you pay the more you get.
Seems fair to me.
thisoldman
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Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?


computeractive.co.uk            article  page 6    26th nmay -8th june  re    net neutrality

when you use plusnet site you get landed with 6 different cookies.

@barry    once Eu starts to dish out fines we may see  some degree of compliance as not all cookies are harmless . Those of you who have mcafee ....look under navigation  quarantined unwanted and see the cookies then consult .
Community Veteran
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Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

The Ofcom consultation document doesn't appear to back up your statement.
It states
Quote
1.11 Generally speaking, our initial position is that discriminatory behaviour is only a potential issue where firms have substantial 'market power' and could discriminate in favour of their own services (-1-). In this case, any form of discrimination will come under very close scrutiny to ensure that there are no anti-competitive effects. We believe that there is insufficient evidence at present to justify the setting of blanket restrictions on all forms of traffic management.

Regarding cookies they are not needed to access the site but are needed to access the member centre. The statement by the Information Commissioner's Office http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/library/Privacy_and_electronic/Practical_application/advice_...  states
Quote
Does this consent rule apply to every type of cookie?
The only exception to this rule is if what you are doing is ‘strictly necessary’ for a service requested by the user. This exception is a narrow one but might apply, for example, to a cookie you use to ensure that when a user of your site has chosen the goods they wish to buy and clicks the ‘add to basket’ or ‘proceed to checkout’ button, your site ‘remembers’ what they chose on a previous page.  
You would not need to get consent for this type of activity.    
This exception needs to be interpreted quite narrowly because the use of the phrase “strictly necessary” means its application has to be limited to a small range of activities and because your use of the cookie must be related to the service requested by the user.  
As Plusnet require it to enable a user to access their account pages it would seem to be reasonable otherwise the user may need to login every time
Looking at the cookies related to the portal. One is a session cookie and all but one of the rest are login cookies (I have it set to auto login). The other is a WTA cookie but I don't know what that does
Community Veteran
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Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

Essentially, HTTP is stateless across multiple transactions (ie separate requests, clicks, or button presses). Cookies are used to overcome this limitation, and certainly fall under the definition of "strictly necessary" to get *any* kind of joined-up behaviour working from one click to the next. Any form of membership site, account site, or shopping baskets certainly *needs* that information for as long as that session.
Cookies can be used to "identify me" over a longer period, to save you having to login on future visits. These cookies are not strictly necessary for any individual session, or any individual visit. However, to achieve that "remember me" functionality, thay are indeed "strictly necessary". If *you* want a website to remember you in this way, then you have to accept the cookies as the technical implementation.
But cookies that help track you around the web, allowing advertisers to track you from site to site, and target you with specific ads... Those are a little different. They will exist on your computer for someone else's purpose - not yours. I think it is this category of cookie that requires the extra layer of consent.
Plusnet Customer
Using FTTC since 2011. Currently on 80/20 Unlimited Fibre Extra.
thisoldman
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Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

oh dear moses.  lol lol
a visit to the ico.gov.uk   web site was a total waste of time. If you do not accept their stupid cookies you do not get access to the site information.

So what is plusnet going to do if customers refuse cookies    ...............stop us accessing our account details etc etc.
If we give a valid user name and pasword  surely to god that is enough.
According to mcafee  avisit to plusnet   lands you with 6 different cookies and as you ove around the portal you get blessed with more of them.... some seem to mcafee to be so dubious   they list them under quarantied  and potentiallyunwanted.

pps    lol    a wee chat with ofcom about what i said about net neutrality    was wonderful.They were not amused with the add on product.lol
and.......hallelujah          they are going to take another look at market pricing  hurray hurray hurray..............
Community Veteran
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Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

Quote from: thisoldman
If we give a valid user name and pasword  surely to god that is enough.

So you'd be happy to enter your username and password every time you click a link or push a button on the portal?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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VileReynard
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Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

Ofcom are happy about temporary (in memory) cookies being stored for the duration of a session.

thisoldman
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Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

I dont know where you got that info from but it is totally wrong.
Ofcom are not happy simply because  some of these so called temp cookies never ever get removed
One of the worst offenders is adobe flash player. You think when you have deleted everything eg ran ccleaner etc etc  then you go to adobe flash player settings and you still can see a list of recent web sites etc etc.
There is simply n need for 99.9999999% of the cookies yu collect from the plus net site. If it was 1 cookie i wouldnt object but as you move around the site and other sites as well you collect dozens of the snoops.
thisoldman
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Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

the www.ico.gov.uk web site is surely one huge sick joke.
If you dont accept their stupid tracking cookies you dont get access.
In my book that is simply blackmail.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

It's not stupid on the part of the ICO, it is a perfectly natural consequence of the stark staring bonkers legislation passed by the EU.
A huge amount of work would be required to all government websites comply with the letter of the legislation, I for one would be very unhappy seeing the money I pay through taxes being spent on such a waste of effort.
The ICO is to be applauded (for once) for highlighting the stupidity.
Quote from: thisoldman
In my book that is simply blackmail.

Is it essential for you to be able to access the site? Will your life be affected if you can't access the site? I rather suspect the answer to both those questions is no - in which case it is your choice of whether to access the site accepting their conditions or to choose not to use the site. It is not blackmail.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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VileReynard
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Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

But most of the ICO's cookies are tracking cookies.

gswindale
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Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

On the topic of net neutrality I see nothing wrong with PN's approach.
You can pay 1 price and get access to all services at known speeds or you can buy another package where you get the access at a different rate of speeds.  You can then buy another package where you can get them faster again.
Are we saying that customers on fibre should not pay a premium for using a new service; should cable customers all get the top speed package for the bottom speed price.
The idea is not to stop the traffic management systems that are required; but to stop say Channel 4 coming up with an idea whereby they pay £x and PN class it as top priority throughout their networks at the detriment of content from say Channel 5.
Heloman
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Re: is Plusnet keeping up todate with legislation?

Quote from: thisoldman
One of the worst offenders is adobe flash player. You think when you have deleted everything eg ran ccleaner etc etc  then you go to adobe flash player settings and you still can see a list of recent web sites etc etc.

What browser are you using? I don't understand why you need progs such as McAfee or Crapcleaner to deal with cookies.
My browser, like most I have tried, allows me to choose whether to accept cookies/third party cookies etc and to delete them after a session either totally or keep the ones I want. I can immediately see what cookies I have stored on my box and delete them all instantly if I wish.
I've never used either McAfee or CC, but I wonder how many cookies they use  Wink