The EU Cookie Law Compliance: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

Unfortunately the new EU cookie law has now deemed the majority of  EU sites illegal, and anyone who’s thinking of kicking this into touch is likely to be found out.

So a what the hell is a cookie?  Seeing asthough the ICO, the governing body for UK cookie law doesn’t explain exactly what a cookie is in their notification drop down, I’ll do it for them.  A cookie is a common web technology for remembering who you are between web pages.  They allow things like logins, preferences, tracking visitors, and sites like Facebook use this information to create targeted ads that remember who you are..  Over 92% of websites use cookies.

Anyway, the law requires that all websites to ask their visitors permission to use cookies whilst they are browsing on your site, with a drop down or accordion slide message, with a yes and no button.  This could equate to a lot of annoying pop ups until the question is answered. (THE UGLY)  There are some cookies that they do allow an exception for, but it doesn’t allow cookie use for measuring visitors to your website or for advertising.  Lets face it all ads on sites like facebook are targeted ads gleaned from your cookie information. The law is meant to protect peoples privacy,(THE GOOD) so you can make a decision as not to allow your personal details, but it comes across maybe a little heavy handed.

So Where Did This Law Come from and Who Cooked It Up?

Back in 2009 there was an EU directive that banned the use of cookies without prior consent.  This is not a law but it forces the member EU states to implement there own law, which was due by May 2011. Only 3 countries met this deadline, the UK sort of half met it so on the day the law came out stated that they wouldn’t prosecute anyone for another year.  So it is still law so everyone in the UK with a website or a website serving UK visitors will have to comply.

What Should You Do?

There are 3 things you can do…

1. Ignore the Law

“The law is an Ass and I Kick It!”  – I’m not quite sure who said this, but this type of response to the recent  EU cookie law will get you into trouble sometime soon.

2. Stop Using Cookies

This isn’t as easy as it sounds, because most web technologies use cookies everywhere.

3. Implement a Solution and Ask for Permission

The safe and likely option for most.

 

The Cookie Solutions

1. A pop up solution, but you may find a browser just blocks these automatically.

2. An accordian is a better solution, which slides down from the top of the screen.

The solutions are a bit painful but shouldn’t be too expensive, – it’s just a chore (THE BAD) to  get your web developer to implement it, or you can try it yourself by installing this FREE Cookie script from here. Reveal Cookie Script >>

So What Now?

So how long have you got?  Well basically your time is up. You should have implemented this by the 26th of May 2012.

If you require help in implementing the new cookie law, please feel free to get in touch.