What is the EU Cookie Law?
The EU Cookie Law come into force on 26th May 2012. The UK Government will begin enforcing the EU ePrivacy Directive (AKA ‘the EU Cookie Law’).
The law aims to protect the privacy of EU citizens as they use the internet, and actually covers several aspects of privacy, not just cookies. The UK Information Commissioners Office (ICO) says:
“Cookies or similar devices must not be used unless the subscriber or user of the relevant terminal equipment:
(a) is provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purposes of the storage of, or access to, that information; and
(b) has given his or her consent.
The Regulations are not prescriptive about the sort of information that should be provided, but the text should be sufficiently full and intelligible to allow individuals to clearly understand the potential consequences of allowing storage and access to the information collected by the device should they wish to do so.”
To know what you have to do to comply with the EU Cookie Law, you first need to know what cookies your site is using. It might be more than you think.
For example, does your website have any of these technologies or features?
WordPress, or any other content management system
Google Analytics, or any similar website analytics program
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or other social media “like” buttons or plugins
Google AdSense and/or AdWords
Personalised settings e.g. a welcome message, remember my email, “don’t show me popup ‘x’”
A shopping basket / cart
Complying with the EU Cookie Law is not as complex as you might first think.
You need to:
Understand the law
Determine if it applies to you
Decide on a course of action
What this means for website owners
Your website must comply or else you face an investigation and potentially a €500,000 fine.