UK Cookie Legislation
In May 2011 the government put in place new UK Cookie Legislation for online privacy and in particular a new way of informing website visitors of their use.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published new updates and guidance for UK website owners http://www.ico.gov.uk
As a result of a change in law, by 26 May 2012, all website owners must make changes to their websites in order to obtain informed consent from visitors before they can store any files or information, known as cookies, on a computer or web connected device.
Cookies are used by most websites and are typically stored in the visitor’s web browser in order to remember them should they re-visit and also track which pages or content they view within the site.
In order to comply with this change in the law, UK website owners should be adopting a way to obtain consent from visitors to their websites. This notification should alert users to the fact that cookies are used on the site and ask the user to consent, by way of an ‘accept’ button, to allow cookies to be stored on their computers.
If your company’s website has been developed and hosted with a third party provider, you may need to make arrangements to have similar changes made to your site.
if necessary, in order to comply with the new UK Cookie Legislation, your website provider should already have been in contact with you to alert you to any such changes and notify you of the cookies that are being used on your site.
However, we suggest that you contact them to make sure that any relevant developments or changes are underway or if in any doubt, contact Nenad on 07968 500 856 or email me at: me [at] nasdagpm.com
You can find out more about the change in legislation by visiting the Information Commissioner’s Office website, http://www.ico.gov.uk
Who needs to comply with UK Cookie Legislation?
- If your website, uses the Word Press content management system
- All CMS systems
- If you have Google Analytics code installed
- If you have banners on the website
- If you are affiliate and selling products from your website
- if you have forms
- if you have a Shopping Cart
What is the UK Cookie Legislation or EU Cookie Law?
The EU Cookie law is an EU-Privacy Directive that came into action on the 26 May 2012, which means you have to get your users consent to place cookies on their device.
What is a Cookie?
A cookie is a small text file that can store small bits of data on your device. The UK Cookie Legislation does not only relate to cookies though. Any type of local browser storage such as flash cookies or HTML local storage are included as well.
What is the big deal?
Well, because a cookie is just a text file it can store anything about a user. The problem is not with cookies as such, but storing personal information about your visitors on your device without them knowing.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes, if the use of the cookie is implied like logging into an application or adding something to a shopping cart then you do not need to inform the user about that as it is obvious you will need to store information about them.
But most cookies are going to come from simple analytic, Facebook buttons, or by having banners on your site and for this you do need permission.
What are my next steps?
You should do an audit of your site for cookies. In the audit you need to classify your cookies into four categories:
1) **Essential** Required for your website to function, for example adding an item to your shopping cart
2) **Non-Essential but harmless** Not essential to the running of your site, but does not contain any tracking information
3) **Fairly Intrusive** Used to track people on your site, but does not store any personal information on them
4) **Very Intrusive** Used to track people on your site and provides personally identifiable information
I you are in any doubt, contact Nenad on 07968 500 856 or by email on: me [at] nasdagpm.com
Digital Marketing Agency News 002 UK Cookie Legislation