Cookie law makes most UK websites illegal
If you need convincing, you can find the official ICO guidelines here.
The following is a simple humorous video outlining the new law.
What are cookies?
Cookies are small files that websites place on visitors’ computers, that usually store values that are unique to an individual visitor. They enable your browser to exchange information with the website server, and can be used for essential purposes (such as remembering you’ve logged in to a site), or optional purposes (such as for website analytics purposes). If you would like more information regarding cookies visit All About Cookies.
Can I turn off cookies in my browser?
All modern browsers have the ability for a user to change their settings concerning cookies, and block websites from storing cookies on their machines. For example in Firefox on a Mac: Firefox > Preferences > Privacy Tab > History: Firefox will: use custom settings for history > make your selects here.
Are all cookies affected?
All cookies that are not “strictly necessary for a service requested by a user” are affected.
For example, if a user adds an item to their shopping basket, that would be considered necessary – a cookie is technically required to remember that user and retain their basket contents. Similarly, to log in to a website a cookie may be necessary. On the flip side a cookie which was set to welcome a user back to a website, or to record what pages they view would not be strictly necessary.
So now what?
All site owners who save cookies (thats 92% of sites) have until May 2012 to comply to the law unless you want to be fined.
Further reading: http://www.cookiecrunch.co.uk/
- The official ICO guidelines
- The original EU law from 2009
- Open letter from DCMS on cookie law
- ICO gives website owners one year to comply with cookies law
- WebTrends responds to their customers
- How BBC Online will meet changes to UK cookie laws
- The previous cookie law (2003)
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