EU e-Privacy Directive
For those involved in the affiliate marketing industry, the most worrying aspects of the e-Privacy Directive are the laws involving restrictions on cookies. The Directive states that websites would have to obtain informed and explicit consent from their visitors through notifications every time a cookie is to be placed on their machine. As it stands, cookies are an essential aspect of affiliate management. They are the main source of the information that is used to properly track where customers come from and, subsequently, to reward affiliates.
The key piece of advice from the affiliate networks and the IAB is not to panic about the Directive. Since its introduction, the best approach is to educate internet users on cookies and how cookies can be used to take advantage of them, rather than regulating cookies in the manner suggested by the EU. With knowledge of cookies, it is easy to avoid being misled. For the most part, cookies are used to help rather than to deceive. The behavioural targeting industry has taken a lead in implementing a self-regulatory framework primarily because they are under the most scrutiny. It may be that the affiliate industry follows suit with a similar approach. This won't necessarily address all advertisers but definitely shows positive intent from the affiliate sector.