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This seems new.  Google UK showing cookie notification. 
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Aurelie Pols's profile photoMichele Baldoni's profile photoPe lagic's profile photoPaul George's profile photo
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Surprised it took this long for the warnings to go up seems most websites in the European have had for months. 
 
I'd put the length of time down to ICO's guidelines being so vague that it just wasn't worth it until seeing what other people did. I noticed one on Bing last week.

There was so much confusion about having to explicitly ask a users consent to dropping cookies, then confusion about 'implied consent' if you were viewing the website and clicked OK on a notification, the end result is that no one cared and their warnings of a fine were pretty baseless, not that Google would care anyway with their sort of cash.
 
Bing (UK) have been doing it for quite a while now, and it's bloody annoying to say the least ;(
 
It's interesting times in terms of Google recognizing data protection these past few days!

As the European Data Protection Agencies jointly go after Google (http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/2b40d8ba-9bae-11e2-a820-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2QQcYBXWs) and Peter Fleischer Google's Global Privacy Council continuous to  "diatribes" against privacy and data protection as some months ago he compared it to book burning practices during the Spanish inquisition when talking about the upcoming EU Personal Data Protection Regulation, he did finally recognize that a fine of 2% global turn-over might be possible: http://peterfleischer.blogspot.com.es/2013/04/what-people-in-know-now-know-that-you.html

According to the FT, this would be around $760m.
So it might be time to align with the EU "cookie" directive, to show some good faith while continuing to lobby against the upcoming Regulation imho

Fascinating times, thank you for sharing!
Having said that, the EU will probably go after Google for something like dominant position but where privacy/data protection might be their Achille's heel... but that's just my personal opinion
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