Cookies Law – May 2012 compliance date imminent

Some information about cookies – but not as you may know them

In May 2011, EU Legislation was introduced in the UK to control cookies. This is not a Law about food, but is intended to aid internet privacy by controlling cookies set by websites as you surf the internet.

Briefly, a cookie is a small text file that websites place on computers or mobile internet devices, which help site owners review and manage site performance, produce statistics about visitors, control advertising performance, improve site functionality or recall preferences for returning visitors.

Cookies are set directly by website operators or often by third parties via components like “share” and “like” buttons.

Under the May 2011 Legislation, often referred to as “Cookie Law”, cookies can now only be set where a user has been provided with clear information about a cookie’s purpose and in some cases where express consent has been given.

The Information Commissioner’s Office allowed a 12 month grace period to allow organisations to comply with the Cookie Law, which expires on 26 May 2012.

It is your company’s responsibility to ensure that you know about the legislation and that your website is compliant – it is not the responsibility of your website developer or host.

With the 26th May 2012 compliance now very close, you do not have long to make sure that your website is compliant. We have found that many companies still aren’t and you could be fined up to £500,000.

To help you, we can review your website to ensure that you comply with the “EU Cookie Law”, and also at the same time make sure all your website’s Terms and Conditions cover all necessary legal requirements.

To arrange a website review, contact Anna Cattee on 01246 560595 or Sarah Rowland on 01246 564039.