The ICO has published an announcement on their website stating that they "will shortly be changing the way we gain users’ consent for setting cookies on our website". Effectively they are moving away from explicit consent, towards implied consent.
It has long been argued by many in the industry, including equimedia, that a perfectly adequate level of cookie consent should be "informed & implied consent". It finally appears that the ICO are moving back towards this position. For the last year or so they only placed cookies on a visitor's browser if the visitor gave explicit consent to do so. However, the impact of this and the response it generated from the industry clearly gave the ICO something to think about.
Although it would be easy to mock the ICO for "backtracking", it is clear that many leading UK websites now have much clearer cookie information on them. This means that UK consumers have much greater visibility of how these cookies are being used and how to manage them. This increased transparency can only be positive.
Read the full the ICO announcement here.