European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding says that companies must gain prior user consent before processing cookies, reports Out-Law.com. The practices some website operators are using do not comply with EU law, Reding says, adding that privacy policies stating how data may be shared with third parties are not sufficient. Reding's comments are in line with the Article 29 Working Party's recent opinion on cookie consent but contradict guidance by the UK government, which has said consent may be obtained during or after processing and that prior consent is not necessary. Editor's note: The IAPP will host a Web conference Thursday, September 22, on "Cookies and the State of the European Union: Legal and Practical Considerations." 
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