You have been warned. In fact, you’ve had more than a year and a half since it was first announced that the EU ePrivacy law was coming into force. So, whilst it may be a daft Eurocrat edict, it’s here, and you’ll have to deal with it.
The new EU Cookie Law is coming into force on 26th May 2012 so, for your benefit, here is a sensible guide and next steps for businesses in the UK wanting to ensure that they understand this law and are taking proactive steps to tackle it for their website.
This law forces all website owners to inform website users clearly on the ‘cookies’ (small files placed on the users computer to identify that they have visited the site), and give clear direction on how users can opt out of cookies placed on their computer.
However, not all cookies are equal. A cookie which is deemed essential to the operation of a website (for example a cookie used for a shopping basket on an ecommerce site) is an example of what is acceptable and necessary. A hidden third-party tracking cookie shared with advertisers is an example of what is being specifically targeted by this law.
Put simply, the more intrusive or unnecessary the use of the cookie – the more you need to seek overt consent from your website visitors.
These are the types of cookies which need proactive action on your site. You almost certainly will be using at least Analytics:
It sounds like a disaster, and if implemented on 100% of websites, then the new ePrivacy law would not only be extremely expensive to comply with, but ultimately frustrate all website users to the extreme. Imagine if every site you visited had ‘tick this’ or ‘click that’ as banners or pop ups? Nerves would be frayed.
However, the important point is this: you need to do something. Here are four steps you can take straight away in order to show that you are taking this matter seriously:
However, for some using Third Party Cookies this may not be enough. It is important to perform the audit and then seek legal advice to ensure that your policies are compliant and you are taking enough action on your site to comply with the law.
You can do all these things yourself, but it may be that you want an independent audit from an agency familiar in all these things to not only tell you which cookies you set, but provide clear reporting and guidance on what to do about it.
Just contact us, mentioning ePrivacy in our contact form, or call 01962 605 000 and we’ll be able to help.