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Does your website comply with new EU directive?

View profile for Karen Edwards
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In May of this year a new set of rules were introduced by the EU to regulate the use of cookies on websites. The British authority which oversees these things – the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – has given all UK website owners a year to comply with these regulations.

The regulations state that cookies which are necessary for the working of a site – like those which allow a website to remember what is in an on-line shopper’s basket – are permissible. However, for all other cookies, websites that use them will have to get the permission of their visitors to do so.

The regulations have been designed to protect online privacy by making consumers aware of how information about them is collected when they visit a website.

The most common cookies are:

  • Session cookies – allow websites to remember what a visitor has placed in their shopping basket as they browse. They are not stored long term and are not considered an invasion of privacy.
  • Persistent cookies – are stored on a visitor’s hard drive between visits allowing preferences to be remembered.
  • First and third party cookies – first party cookies are placed on a visitor’s computer by the website. Third party cookies are placed on a computer by a domain other than the one the visitor is using. This is why if you have been browsing online shopping the next day you will see adverts on another website for exactly the same products.

Karen Edwards, Commercial Solicitor, says “The previous privacy legislation required websites to give users the opportunity to opt out of cookies but this was usually concealed in a privacy policy. Under the new law, site visitors will have to opt-in to sites which use cookies. All websites will have to block cookies until users have given their consent for cookies to be used.”

Get in touch if you need more information on this topic. For a free initial meeting please call 01202 499255 and Karen or a member of her team will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.

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