Oracle : Making cookies hard to swallow

Cookie compliance notices may be legally necessary in Europe, but the US software giant does nothing to sweeten the user experience.

click to view

The feature

Although cookie notices are commonplace in Europe following the adoption of GDPR regulations earlier this year, a cookie notice we came across on Oracle’s UK site is unusual.

It is delivered in an overlay which covers much of the page, effectively preventing visitors from accessing the material unless they complete the form. The form is also more extensive than most, including headings and summaries for three types of cookies (required, functional and advertising cookies); and users are asked to opt in or out of each. Selecting ‘No’ returns a note informing the user ‘We are processing the requested change to your cookie preferences. This may take up to a few minutes to process.’

During our visit, this was followed by a note stating ‘You have successfully updated your cookie preferences’ together with a contradictory warning that ‘… Some vendors cannot receive opt-out requests via https protocols so the processing of your opt-out request is incomplete.’ and inviting us to try again.

The takeaway

Oracle’s verbose and legalistic approach to cookie compliance risks irritating and alienating users – lawyers seems to have been given free rein to create a form, without any attempts to make it user friendly or easy to digest.

The complexity may be unnecessary (when compared to most of these notices we have come across) and the ‘few minutes’ processing time adds to the irritation. Together, the approach undermines this technology company’s attempts to look technologically slick.

Although Oracle’s digital managers could not decide whether or not to publish the legally required cookie notices, they could have done a better job to influence how the options are presented to visitors.
First published 12 September, 2018
< Back to Tips