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The cookie law actually was meant to solve the opt-in consent problem of user tracking that GDPR now solves with much stronger rules -- unfortunately the cookie law was vague enough that websites figured out that the cookie pop-up was sufficient to get around the law.

So really, users should be angry with websites for intentionally working around the spirit of the cookie law (and creating the annoying pop-up which basically requires you to consent to cookie tracking if you want to continue to use the website). The EU's mistake was not making the cookie law far more strict.

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