Cookie Law Explained
What is the 'cookie law'?
The 'cookie law' is a piece of privacy legislation that requires websites to obtain consent from visitors to store or retrieve any information on a computer or other web-connected device, like a smart phone or tablet. It has been designed to protect online privacy by making users aware of how information about them is collected by websites, and enabling them to choose whether or not they want it to happen.
It has been in effect since 26th May 2012 and is enforced by the UK's regulator, The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
Who is responsible for complying with the 'cookie law'?
Some design agencies and developers have taken the stance that, as they don't own a site they build or support, they aren't responsible for compliance. But buried in the ICO guidance is the following text:
"Companies who design and develop websites or other technologies for other people, must also carefully consider the requirements of these Regulations and make sure the systems they design allow their clients to comply with the law. The Information Commissioner would expect that any development of new software, or upgrades to existing software, would take into account the need to ensure products are compliant with these rules and broader data protection requirements."
This suggests that whilst the responsibility to obtain consent to cookies lies with the client or site owner, the design agency or developer should also provide a solution to help obtain that consent.
What do cookies do?
'Good cookies' are vital to making a website work, but 'bad cookies' track what users do online and pass that data to third parties. It's mainly the 'bad cookie' type that has caused this change in cookie compliance.
'Good cookies': First-party cookies (cookies that are generated by your website) are typically helpful, aid functionality and are fairly low risk.
'Bad cookies': Third-party cookies (cookies that are generated by another website via yours) are the main concern. An example of a 'bad' cookie is those used in behavioural advertising, where they identify what you click on and tell advertising websites to display that type of product or service wherever you go afterwards.
Helping you comply with
the 'cookie law'
It's our responsibility to help our clients take a view on what is the most appropriate action for their website. Website cookies fall into one of the two following categories' and courses of action:
How does this affect Linksites™ users?
*Our Members Area plugin uses 'good cookies' to maintain your login status.
Please note: This is purely our interpretation of the ISO Guidelines on Cookie usage. If you wish to read the full report you can download the ICO Cookie Guidance document. If you have any questions, please call us.