Oh dear. The European law on cookies seems to be a real mess. Different national Governments are making slightly different interpretations about the cookie law, and recently the Commission Nationale de l’Informatiqueet des Libertés (CNIL), who are responsible for protecting privacy and personal data – have ruled that setting a browser to allow cookies is not the same as giving consent for a website to place a cookie on your computer. So French internet users face an endless stream of cookie request pop-ups in the future. The good news, however, is that the ruling appears to apply only to French sites, and not overseas websites accessed by French users.
The Marketing Law website has a great overview of the CNIL’s cookie ruling (you’ll need to register to access the article).