Search for:

What you need to know

The E-Privacy Directive comes into force on the 26th May 2011 and applies to how website owners can use cookies to store information about their visitors, and holds sway over the net even today.

If you, as a website owner store usage information, you will need to provide clear and comprehensive information about why you are storing the information and get the visitor’s ‘explicit’ consent.

Essential cookies that a website provides for the visitor at their request (for example on subscription and e-commerce services) will not need such consent.

What you need to do

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have advised website owners to conduct a full audit of their websites to analyse which cookies are used, and which are ‘strictly necessary’? “Strictly necessary” cookies are those mentioned, for subscription and e-commerce services.

Cookies that are deemed, or likely to be seen as ‘intrusive’ by users should be removed, changed or a consent process included.

Consent options available to you

This Cookie law has preceded the browser development, so the onus is currently on the website owner. Current solutions to gather consent include:

Feature-led consent – This is when a website remembers feature-led preferences, such as content personalisation. A user can be informed of the cookie when the feature is activated.

Functional uses – Tracking is a common example of this – occurring in the background without the consent of the user. A proposed solution is to place relevant text about the cookie in the header or footer of the page, or link to an information page.

Pop-ups – Whilst these can detract from the user experience, and are often blocked by browsers, they are probably the simplest option to implement to inform the user and to gain their consent.

Settings-led consent – Some websites allow users to personalise the interface – font, colours, language, etc. These settings use cookies, and when these are set, the customer can be told that a cookie will be set.

Sign-up terms and conditions – If a user has to sign up to a website, they will normally agree to a set of terms and conditions. If you need to use cookies, you can add the new terms into your legal pages. If you are changing your Terms and conditions, you must alert your existing customers of the changes. Do not think that this is a get out clause for loading any cookies on your visitors – do the audit to see if all the cookies are required.

Third-party cookies – I am sure that this is one of the main reasons for the regulations. These often come from display advertising that the website uses. Because it is often controlled by a third-party, this is a grey area, and gaining the consent is likely to be difficult. The Government and industry are working on this. As a responsible website owner, you should also work with your advertisers and affiliate partners to minimise the use of cookies.

Tracking icons – These are indicators on adverts that show clearly that an advert uses tracking technology. AOL and Google, for example, have committed to this, but there is currently no mention of ‘consent’.

If you have questions about how the cookie law could affect your business and your digital marketing, contact Jack Marketing Solutions™ today.

Glossary: Ad Server, Advertising, Adware, Affiliate Programme, Astroturfing, Browsers, Cache, Cloaking, Cookie, Dark Marketing, Data Protection Act, Digital Marketing, E-commerce, E-Privacy Directive, Floating Ads, GDPR, Google Adwords, Header, Meta Data, Mobile Marketing, Navigation, Obfuscation, Opt-in, Personalisation, Pop-ups, Programmatic Buying, Real-Time Advertising, Real-Time Bidding, Repeat Visitor, Search Engine, Site Visit, Social Advertising, Spyware, Tracking, Visit, Visit Duration, Visitor, Visitor Session, Website

Translate »