Firstly, if you don’t know what a website cookie is; have a wander over to Wikipedia for a quick read

Does it affect me?

YES – If you are a person or business in the EU and have a website – it affects you. Even personal websites are affected.

This affects where the owner is based and not where the website lives, so if you are in the EU and have a .com website in America, it still applies to you.

What are the exceptions to the law?

Pretty much every website uses cookies of some description. If you have Google Analytics installed, your website uses cookies. If you have any affiliate links or use Google Adsense or use any other advertising network, then your website uses cookies.

This law however only applies to “non-essential” cookies that aren’t required for your website to function.

So, for example, if you run an eCommerce website and cookies are used so that your customers can add products to their basket and checkout, you don’t need to conform to the new EU cookie law regulations.

However, if you track your online visitors via a tool like Google Analytics as well, you will need to explicitly tell your visitors that cookies are in use on your website.

I’m already covered?

It’s not enough to simply update your privacy policy or terms and conditions.

A user must explicitly accept cookies in order for you to legally use non-essential cookies on your website.

Every Rule has an Exception

Some of the likely exceptions to the new cookie compliance law are:

  • A cookie used to remember the goods a user wishes to buy when they proceed to the checkout or add goods to their shopping basket
  • Certain cookies providing security that is essential to comply with the security requirements of the seventh data protection principle for an activity the user has requested – for example in connection with online banking services
  • Some cookies help ensure that the content of your page loads quickly and effectively by distributing the workload across numerous computers.

Cookies that MUST be declared

  • Cookies used for analytical purposes to count the number of unique visits to a website for example
  • First and third party advertising cookies
  • Cookies used to recognise a user when they return to a website so that the greeting they receive can be tailored

So what do you need to do?

It’s not enough to simply update your privacy policy or terms and conditions.

If you use non-essential cookies on your website then you need to tell people about this.

Clarke Design can help

Clarke Design has a great little solution in the form of a ‘one-time only’ discreet pop-up to get permission from your visitors regarding your cookies.

If you are unsure about any of this, how it affects you and your website, please just get in touch with Clarke Design and we’ll guide you through the maze.