Note: as yet, many national governments within the EU have not set deadlines for compliance. Whilst this article is relevant to all EU businesses, it’s those operating in the UK that need to ensure imminent compliance by May 26th 2012.
What is a cookie?
Just in case you’re wondering what biscuits have to do with software, we thought we’d explain what cookies are in the context of the internet!
What are the new cookie regulations?
So: all websites must gain permission from their visitors before proceeding to store or share information about that user. It also requires the business to ensure that the user understands the purpose of the data storage and how it is accessed.This is to protect the privacy of the internet user, and stop their data being stored and shared against their knowledge.The final date for compliance in the UK is the 26th May 2012.
Cookies in your cart
What makes your ePages cookies exceptional?
So, your shopping cart and your ‘last viewed’ cookies are non-punishable because they are an essential part of the online shopping process. Phew.
… What about other cookies?
However, you should check with these companies to ensure that their applications are within the boundaries of the law to make sure that you are not inadvertently breaking the law yourself by using their services in your eShop.
So are cookies bad for me?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question!
Some internet users prefer their web browsing experience to be personalised (for example being shown other items which might interest them based on their browsing history, or having websites remember their personal log-in data). These internet users might not object to their data being stored for these purposes.
Other internet users may be wary of spam, which can be the result of so-called ‘spiders’ crawling the web and finding their personal details from cookies. They may also object to any personal data being stored on the internet, whatever its purpose.
For anyone wanting to analyse visitor movement around their website, cookies are very useful – as analytics results can be used to optimise their site accordingly.
So: opinion is divided.
How will the law be enforced?
And if all this talk of cookies is making you as hungry as us, why not break into a pack of the proper stuff. Nom nom nom.
If you’re looking for more detailed information on this topic, visit the Information Commissioner’s Office – www.ico.gov.uk