The name cookies often evokes images of something more mouth-watering and tempting than website regulations.
The welcome news is that along with a crystal clear policy and a clear understanding of yours and consumers’ rights, you should find it easy to implement and get on with running your website and making it work hard for you. Essentially, that is the reason why you put so much of your time and money into it.
Clarifying the Cookie Monster Myth
What is a cookie? The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – the UK’s independent authority on upholding information rights and the body responsible for enforcing Cookie Law – gives the following definition:
“A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is downloaded on to your computer when you visit a website. Cookies are used by many websites and can do a number of things, e.g. remembering your preferences, recording what you have put in your shopping basket, and counting the number of people looking at a website”. To read more from the ICO by, click here
A new Cookie Law came into force in the UK in May 2011 as part of an EU directive. Here in the UK, these laws were aligned with the existing Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).
As previously stated – we’re no legal experts and these laws, not unexpectedly, are very substantial. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the law insists that websites acquire the permission from visitors to record and/or retrieve information on an electronic device – such as a desktop, laptop, or mobile.
In the words of PrivacyPolicies.com, Cookie Law requires that:
- You need to provide detailed information regarding how that cookie data will be utilised
- If the visitor to your website refuses, you will need to make sure that cookies will not be stored on their machine.
While all this may seem overwhelming, it needn’t be the case. Actually, doing it correctly, first time, can result in an increase of trust and respect between you and your customers and increase your reputation for the better.
What is just as vital to bear in mind is that, just like many laws, expectations in this field are constantly advancing – so it’s advantageous to keep abreast of changes to make sure your website remains compliant.
Take for instance; the introduction of GDPR in 2018 brought about the largest change to data privacy in recent times; a number of which pertain to online/digital features including websites.
In addition to this, the current EU directive outlined above is due to become an EU regulation at in the near future, very likely in 2020, having originally been drafted in 2017.
The move from directive to regulation is momentous, as it will make cookie laws bound by law, implying that those breaching these rules could be hit with considerable fines similar to GDPR.
Above all else – it’s about being clear, making life easier for the user, and getting the right guidance if you’re unsure.
At Koobr we thrive in making your business look the best it can be, your services appealing and ensuring you’re taking full advantage of the marketing mix and all the tools and strategies available to you.
But we’re pretty adept at creating and building websites that look great with sound functionality but are also, importantly, compliant in a world of increasing cyber intricacies and rigorous regulations, in particular, GDPR and Cookie Law.