Tuesday, 03 July 2012 00:00
What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files that record internet users' online activity. Websites store the information on a user's computer to track their online behaviour and measure the numbers of users on their site.
How has the law changed?
a) tell users that they are using cookies;
b) explain what they are doing; and
c) obtain their consent for using them.
How is consent obtained?
Does it apply to all cookies?
An exemption exists when the use of the cookie is 'strictly necessary'. A likely example would be a cookie used to remember the goods a user wishes to buy when they proceed to a checkout. However, the ICO guidance suggests that analytical cookies - cookies used to measure the number of users to their site and how they use it – does not fall within the exemption.
What happens if I don't comply?
The ICO has been given powers to impose penalties of up to £500,000 on websites that breach the regulations.
How can I ensure I am complying?
If you use a third party website design company then they should have already taken steps to update your website to comply with the regulations. If not, you should contact them or taking the appropriate steps yourself to ensure compliance. For access to the ICO guidance please click here