- tell people they are being used
- explain why
- get consent
That’s the short explanation. You may not be surprised to hear that it’s not quite so simple, because there is confusion about which cookies are subject to this law, how various aspects will be interpreted, and most importantly the consequences of failure to comply. While we have tried to give a clear explanation in this article, this represents our understanding and should not be considered legal advice or a guaranteed solution.
EU Cookie Law: Let’s start at the beginning
The new UK law follows part of an EU directive on privacy, and it will be the responsibility of the Information Commissioners’ Office (ICO) to take action against offenders.
So how does the new EU cookie law affect my website?
In essence, it’s up to you how seriously you want to take this, but you basically have three options.
1. Do nothing
It seems unlikely that small or medium businesses will be targeted by the ICO for prosecution, and the problem may well be solved by changes to the browsers themselves. This law is apparently aimed at third party code that subverts people’s privacy, which the vast majority of websites do not. And even if the ICO does take exception to your website, it will probably give you a chance to resolve the issue before taking action.
2. Do the minimum
3. Go the whole hog
Need help complying with the cookie law?
First of all you need to find out if you’re using cookies. Whether you’re a client of Bluelinemedia or not, we’re happy to provide a free cookie review of your website to tell you how you’re using cookies and what you should do about it.
EU cookie law references
- ICO guidance
- A more accessible guide from Econsultancy’s interview of the ICO’s Dave Evans
- ICO declares they will not fine small businesses
Screenshots of ICO’s suggested solutions (thanks to Out-Law.com):
Some websites that have already made changes to account for the new EU cookie law (to see how these work you’ll need to be visiting the site for the first time, or delete your cookies first):