European Privacy Law and Cookies

UPDATE 26th May 2012: Find out how to become EU Cookie Compliant

A European Directive regarding Privacy Law came in to force on the 26th May 2011 that stated all websites that used Cookies had to notify users that they were applied.  Cookies are small pieces of code that allow websites to keep track of your browsing for the time you visit a site, or sometimes for much longer.
They are essential for many of the commercial features used in websites to work and have largely been accepted as the norm for many years.

The new legislation states that sites must ask users if they are happy for Cookies to be used. A typical notification might read:

On 26 May 2011, the rules about cookies on websites changed. This site uses cookies. One of the cookies we use is essential for parts of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but parts of the site will not work. To find out more about cookies on this website and how to delete cookies, see our privacy notice.

The UK government has been realistic about the changeover and has given web owners in Britain a year to implement the changes before making it law in the UK.

We will be keeping our customers informed about the deadline and guiding them through the changes. It is likely that browser vendors will work out a technical solution that allows users to browse without having to give consent on each and every website.

There are good reasons for the legislation as the commercial nature of the web will lead to more and more information about web surfers online habits being tracked. It’s important that people have the choice to opt in or out and to make a personal judgement about the trade off of giving information in return for a more improved online experience.

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