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Posts Tagged ‘cookie law’

  1. Cookie Monster Law Implementation

    April 24, 2012 by admin

    Oh my head, I’ve been in London today to listen to a seminar about implementing the new cookie law. Sadly not a law referring to baking of any kind, but to web cookies. Those pesky little containers of data storage that pretty much are on every website you visit. Most of the time they will go un-noticed. Such as in the case of Google analytics who uses cookies to show website owners how many users are visiting the site, and how they are using their site. But then there are those scary 3rd part cookies that mess with your head. You know cases like when you have been on a clothes site drooling over some dress you can’t afford, then when you a few hours later go online and read the news on a news site you suddenly see THAT dress appear in the advertising banner on the news site. First time that happened to me a few years ago I took it as a sign and went and bought that dress, like a little sucker!

    Anyway…cookies are everywhere, unless you are on a very simple website there will be some cookies in action. Even this blog has got google analytics on it. So what is this new law that is being put into place on the 26th of May? Well first of all it isn’t a new law at all, it was in fact put in place in May last year, but with everyone being so confused about it and not understanding what to do, it was decided that us poor web workers out there would get some more time to implement this and make more sense of it. So we got a year….however a year later and I think we are no closer to making sense of it.

    Because really what should happen on the 26th of may is that when you visit any website that uses cookies (so that will be most sites then) on that day, you’ll be covered in new cookie and privacy statements as well as popups asking for your consent to use these cookies. I doubt that this will happen. In fact if it does I shall grind my hat into flour and make a cookie out of it and eat it. This however is the new law, (as stated by ICO);

    Cookies or similar devices must not be used unless the subscriber or user of the relevant terminal equipment:
    (a) is provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purposes of the storage of, or access to, that information; and
    (b) has given his or her consent.

    To state on your website that you are using cookies is of course not very hard, it might take you a while to write the statement so clearly that all can understand. For example if you are using cookies in a webshop, not excepting the cookies won’t take you to the next step in the shop. ICO tells us that we have to state this clearly, not hide it away in some obscure place.

    The second part however is where it gets tricky, how do you get consent? On the ICO website they have got a banner on all pages asking for your consent to use cookies, and unless you click it they can’t use it. Which will mean any analytics data they try to collect won’t be collected until the user tick the box. Great for the user perhaps if you have had enough of big brother watching. BUT with the amount of people being confused about cookies and not understanding how they work, how will you ever get these people to tick the box? They will just be scared and ignore it. Then when they come to order items in your webshop, they will be angry and annoyed as the shop won’t work properly, because cookies are disabled.

    But the most annoying thing about this implementation is that the ICO really don’t seen to know how to implement it and what to do in certain cases. Like for example E-mailing of newsletters via things like mailchimp or dotmailer. They also track the user, see what they click on in the email, if they forward it, all very useful data for companies and organisations. But there seem to be no clear “this is what you need to do” list. Same goes with Google analytics, they say it might be ok, it might not. So it is all very confusing to know what to do as a plan of action for now. And from what I hear most companies are going to “wait and see” what will happen come May 26th .

    So really…the cookie law is as clear as mud (cake)