The New EU Cookie Law – Does Your Website Comply with the Law?

0 comments, 01/08/2012, by , in News

Cookie LawThe EU Cookie Law came into effect in May 2011 and has been legally enforceable since May 2012.  The aim of the law is to protect the online privacy of all internet users no matter whether they connect to the web via a laptop, a phone or a tablet device.  The law is applicable in all EU countries and so any website owner that is located in one of these countries should make sure that their website complies with the new regulations.  Failure to comply could result in a large fine.

Why Was The Law Introduced?
Cookies are small files that remember user preferences among other things and most websites require them to run correctly.  Almost every website uses cookies in one form or another.  If your website has Google Analytics installed, has any social media links or requires users to sign in you can guarantee that your website is already collecting cookies.

The law was introduced because most web users do not understand that their information is being stored by websites and third parties.  Whilst most cookies are not harmful to visitors some cookies are used by third parties to enable them to advertise specifically to a user’s interests; the new privacy law is in place so that users can understand more about the cookies that a website may collect and decide whether they are happy to view a site that uses them or whether they would rather they are turned off.

Before the law was introduced, EU websites were only required to include a privacy policy on their site stating what cookies may be collected from users.  This is now not enough.  If your website or blog does not show the appropriate cookie warning, you may be prosecuted and fined up to $700,000 or more!

What Should You Do?
The first thing that you will need to do as a webmaster is to make sure you are abiding by the law and implement the required notice(s) on your website(s) or blog(s).  If you want to be within the law yet do not want to notify your users about cookies you will need to remove every program that uses cookies from your site.  This includes all of your social media buttons, your Facebook links and Google Analytics if you use it.  Cookies are also used for e-commerce websites and any website that requires users to sign in.  If you want to remove all of the above you can do and you will be in compliance with the law but then you risk losing a major part of your website’s functionality and efficiency.

Most webmasters would rather notify their web users about the cookies that their site uses.  Some webmasters (those that can afford to) have hired web designers to place notifications on their website which appear as soon as a user visits it. This usually costs at least $200 per site.

We have researched and found easier implementations by the use of software solutions that cost a lot less yet do the same job and make a website conform to the legal requirements and be within the law.  The ‘EU Cookie Cop’ from http://www.EUCookieCop.com is one such piece of software that can be implemented on any website (PHP or HTML).

The publishers also offer a WordPress plugin.  The solution offered on EU Cookie Cop is cheaper than any other option, and best of all it ensures that your website or blog is in compliance with EU law.

We highly recommend that you visit http://www.EUCookiecop.com and implement the solutions they offer as soon as possible.






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