Confused by the Cookie Law?
You have probably seen lots of emails and notifications about the new privacy law that came into effect on 26th May 2011 across the EU, otherwise known as ‘the Cookie law’. The new law states that all websites will have to ask visitors for their consent to use most web cookies. The law is due to be enforced this year, but very little that I’ve read has made much sense and it has certainly left me very confused as to what our responsibilities actually are, for our own websites and our customer’s websites.
So I am sure most of you are feeling the same way.
With just a bit of digging there’s plenty of information out there, so here’s my understanding, hopefully in simple terms. If you want more detail I’ve given you lots of further bedtime reading!
What are cookies?
What is the change?
Examples of how it works
BT was one of the first companies to initiate the change and if you visit www.bt.com you will see a pop up box comes up that says: “The cookie settings on this website are set to ‘allow all cookies’ to give you the very best experience. If you continue without changing these settings, you consent to this – but if you want, you can change your settings at any time at the bottom of this page.”
So what do we do?
Although the law came into effect on the 26th May 2011 with the maximum fine set in the UK at £500,000, there was no enforcement in the first year. But with the first 12 months now coming to a close, the question arises what people should do now?
Most small businesses will probably ignore the cookie law, particularly as it is very unclear and very complicated. But, it is a law and I think we all should be very aware what is happening and watch very carefully the changes that take place over the next few months and looking for any further directives that come through. I don’t think there is a reason to panic but we could also start asking permission for using cookies on our websites and stay legal right from the beginning.
If you are concerned about your website, give Fig Creative a call on 01457 857111 for more advice.
If you want to know more, there’s a great little video put together by Silktide, which explains Cookie Law very well http://speckyboy.com/2012/04/19/the-eu-cookie-law/
The ICO explains the law in more detail http://www.ico.gov.uk/
If you want to know more about cookies http://www.allaboutcookies.org/