The UK Cookie Law - How to Keep on the Right Side of the Law
by Bob Grant
There's been a lot of confusion over the UK cookie law. What does it mean? What do you have to do? Which cookies are okay and which cookies aren't? The government didn't help things by being very vague and not actually saying what you had to do. I wrote an article on this a couple of months ago based on the International Chamber of Commerce report which was widely regarded as the best advice at the time. Unfortunately the day before the law was due to be enforced the government rewrote parts of it, just to make life a bit easier!
The upshot of this is that I don't believe the International Chamber Of Commerce report and guidance is correct any more. The way it breaks down the different types of cookies is fine but I'm advising my clients to take a more proactive approach to informing website visitors.
What's Changed with the UK Cookie Law?
The last-minute change by the government almost brought the law into line with this Chamber of Commerce report. They expanded the "implied consent" category to cover pretty much all cookies except for advertising and personal information types. This meant that most websites wouldn't have to force people to click an accept or reject button. But they did state that websites must be seen to be actively informing website users. The law specifically states that you can't assume people will seek out and read your privacy statement.
I've been keeping an eye on this over the past couple of months to get a feel for what's being deemed as best practice. I generally like to err on the side of caution so here's the advice I'm giving out.
You may have noticed is working when you came to this website. If you didn't simply clear your browser history and reload this page. You should then see the pop-up appearing at the top of the screen.
What Should You Do?
There is no real definitive guide on what to do for the UK cookie law. People's responses vary from doing nothing to having the full-blown pop-up window with the accept and reject buttons. Doing nothing will definitely put you on the wrong side of the law. Having the accept and reject buttons will scare people away from your website (a government department website tried this and lost 90% of its visitors).
I'm therefore happy that the advice I'm giving my clients keeps them legal and keeps their visitors on their sites.
How Do I Update My Site?
If you get stuck or need any help working out what your website needs to do then just get in contact with me and I'll be happy to help.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Buying links solely to improve your search engine rankings can really upset the search engines, as a few high-profile websites are just find out. Find out more about the black art of paid links.
Telling Google that a webpage was written by you helps build your online reputation so any new pages you write will carry some authority. Read this article to find out how you do it.
When you talk to some IT people it's like they talk a different language. PHP this, JSON that. But don't confuse knowing buzzwords with having expertise.
A new report shows that more people are clicking pay per click adverts on mobile devices. If you are advertising you need to make sure your website is ready for mobile visitors.
Google's new disavow tool lets you disown incoming links to your website. Read this post to find out why you might want to do this.
Google is making sure that exact match domain names won't boost your search engine rankings.
Search for info