Like it or not, the deadline for complying with the EU cookie directive is drawing very close. No matter how nonsensical this law seems, the sad reality is that it’s the law – and website owners have no choice but to comply. With the deadline for compliance now less than two months away, the aim of this post is to give you all the facts you need to know, including practical suggestions for ensuring that your site is in line with the new regulations. I’ve put my personal opinion at the end; clue: like everyone else, I think this law is ludicrous!
What is the EU cookie directive?
For those not already aware, the supposed aim of this legislation is to increase online security and data privacy, giving users more control over what data can be held about them. It addresses concerns with how personal information is held and used. Some users – albeit a small minority – are concerned with what they see as the development of a ‘Big Brother’ society in which their every move is being recorded.
The legislation forces websites to be transparent about how they are using cookies, detailing exactly what information each cookie holds and how long it will be held, and requires them actively to request permission from their users before cookies can be used.
Previously, the law dictated that websites had to explain how they were using cookies and how users can ‘opt out’. Most sites did so in their Privacy Policies, but this isn’t enough under the new law: users now have to ‘opt in’, having been made fully aware of the implications of doing so.