Don’t crumble over Cookie Notice Compliance on your Website
A commonly asked question when designing websites for our clients is whether they still need to put up a Cookie Notice Consent Banner on their website to be compliant.
Cookies, not the tasty baked treats, but the virtual bits of data stored on our devices while browsing the internet, have become an essential part of our online experience. In this easy guide to cookies, we will explore the different types of cookies, their functions, and shed light on whether the EU Cookie Law still applies in the UK after Brexit…
1. What’s in a Cookie?
Simply put, a cookie is a small text file that is downloaded to a user’s device (computer, mobile phone…) when visiting websites and enable them to store user information.
Functions of Cookies:
1. Authentication: Cookies help websites authenticate users, enabling features like “Remember me” to conveniently log in to a website without entering credentials every time.
2. Personalization: Cookies store information about your preferences, allowing websites to customize your experience. For instance, they can remember your language preference or display relevant content based on your previous interactions.
3. Analytics: Cookies are used by website owners to collect data on visitor behaviour, such as the number of visits, pages viewed, and average time spent on a website. This information helps improve website performance and tailor content to better suit the audience.
Cookies can be perfectly harmless but also quite intrusive, depending on their type:
2. Cookie Flavours
There are four main types of cookies:
1. Session Cookies: These cookies are temporary and are deleted when you close your browser. They are used to maintain your session and remember your preferences as you navigate through a website.
2. Persistent Cookies: Unlike session cookies, persistent cookies remain on your device for a longer period. They store information such as login details, language preferences, and browsing habits, enabling a personalized user experience.
3. First-party Cookies: These cookies are set by the website you are currently visiting. They help remember your preferences and improve your browsing experience.
4. Third-party Cookies: These cookies originate from a domain other than the website you are currently visiting. They are primarily used for advertising and tracking purposes, allowing advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on your browsing behaviour.
3. EU Cookie Law and Brexit– still relevant?
The EU Cookie Law, introduced in 2011, required websites to obtain users’ informed consent before placing cookies on their devices. It aimed to protect user privacy and give individuals more control over their online data. However, with Brexit, the question arises: Does the EU Cookie Law still apply in the UK?#
In short, after Brexit, the EU Cookie Law no longer directly applies to the UK. However, the UK has enacted its own legislation known as the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), which incorporates similar principles to the EU Cookie Law.
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is responsible for enforcing data protection laws, provides guidance on compliance with the PECR. The ICO emphasizes the importance of obtaining user consent for non-essential cookies, including third-party cookies used for advertising and tracking purposes (i.e. Google Analytics).
The ICO suggests that websites should provide clear information about the types of cookies used, their purposes, and obtain users’ explicit consent before placing them on their devices. This consent can be obtained through cookie banners, pop-ups, or similar mechanisms that allow users to accept or decline cookies based on their preferences.
4. How to be compliant
It is important for website owners to be aware of the different types of cookies, their functions, and the regulations surrounding their use. By implementing user-friendly mechanisms to obtain informed consent, website operators can strike a balance between providing personalized experiences and respecting user privacy in a post-Brexit UK.
Your current web developer should be able to help you if you aren’t sure about what cookies you are using on your website or how to implement a good but not too intrusive Cookie consent banner.
Or if would like us to lend a helping hand to guide you through the process, (or just do it for you) get in touch and we are happy to help!
Just email email@example.com!