On 26th May 2012 the ICO will begin to enforce the EU “Cookie” Directive. In the UK this EU Privacy Directive has resulted in changes to the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations. The directive came into being on 25th May 2011 however the ICO chose to give a year’s grace in the UK before they started enforcing it. Website owners can potentially be fined up to £500,000 for being in breach of this law.
According to the ICO:
“Those setting cookies must:
• Tell people that the cookies are there,
• Explain what the cookies are doing, and
• Obtain their consent to store a cookie on their device.”
This affects the vast majority of websites in the EU (for instance Google Analytics sets a cookie as will many third party integrations on your website). Due to the lack of guidance on exactly how the directive should be complied with most have decided to wait and see what trends develop to see if one common approach becomes clear. Currently none of the big sites such as Amazon or EBay have moved with their main solution.
The ICO website itself has a box at the top of the page where site users can check a checkbox to accept cookies before they run so a solution similar to this may be the safest option to ensure compliance with the Directive.
So at Ezone Software we recommend the following 4 step solution which we provide as an audit package:
1. An audit to see which cookies are running on your website.
2. The creation of a privacy page on your website (or alteration of an existing privacy page) – to state what these cookies are and explain what they do.
3. (Optional) The addition of a free third party solution to allow the site user to give informed consent that refers/links the site user to your privacy page (or which has this information on screen as part of its functionality) so that the user can make an informed choice.
4. A report will be provided on the audit findings and work done.
If you would like us to carry out this 4 step EU Cookie Directive Audit or if you would like more information please contact [email protected].
As an alternative to step 3 we can supply a bespoke solution developed at Ezone Software along the same lines of the third party solutions.
As well as the EU Cookie Directive audit we also offer the following website audits:
- Accessibility Audit
- Speed Audit
- Quality Assurance Audit
To enquire about any of the above please contact [email protected].