As of 26th May 2012 "Directive 2009/136/EC", or the "Cookie Law" as it is better known, came into full for force (it was initially implemented in May 2011 with a 12 month window to comply) in the UK.
There has been a mixed reaction with anger from small businesses, compliance from larger sites and confusion/fear amongst others.
What are cookies and what is the Cookie Law?
Cookies are small pieces of data that are sent by a website and stored in a users browser. The cookie can then be used by the web browser for a number of reasons e.g. to track visitors, allow users to login, remember what items are in a shopping basket and display targeted adverts etc.
The Cookie Law was originally designed to get websites to notify users that cookies were being used and whether they consent to this. You may have noticed on a number of large sites over the past week or so that they now have a box at the top of the page asking for cookie consent.
Does this mean my website should have a consent box?
In our opinion this is not necessary. At the last minute the directive was updated to allow "Complied Consent". This is open to interpretation, however, in effect what they are saying is that rather than the website having to ask the user about cookies, the onus is on the user and that their continued usage of the website constitutes implied consent.
Ok, so what should I do?
This is down to each company to decide, we would recommend reading the directive in full and coming to your own conclusion.
Will Design Fresh be changing its website?
We feel this is an unobtrusive solution that should allow us to meet the directive through complied consent.
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