25 May 2012
Website Cookie Law Changes – Exactly How Are You Affected?
On May 26th, new regulations governing website privacy, site access and more specifically, your use of ‘Cookies’ come into effect across the UK, something which could have a big impact on your business.
- Cookies are packets of data sent and received by computers, sometimes without you realising. They’re used in many ways: to hold log in details and site preferences, or to provide visitor analytics and build targeted advertising…
The idea is to inform individual internet users about the collection and use of personal information online, and to give them the choice whether to opt in, or opt out.
With billions of potential customers around the world, changes of this scale are big news. Any infringement of the new legislation runs the risk of prosecution, and has the potential to attract fines of up to £500,000k.
What are the changes? Am I affected?
If your website uses techniques for storing information about visitors and users, then the way in which this is done must change. No ifs and no but’s.
Whilst Ecommerce and businesses identified as having a ‘required’ facility are unaffected, for the vast majority of UK businesses it means, at the very least, seeking permission from individuals, before retrieving stored user-information – captured via desktop, tablet, mobile – or any combination.
It is predicted that most government websites and the majority of business operations will fail to comply in time. With so many commercial – and non-commercial websites reliant on cookies, widespread enforcement will be a hard task. However, site owners; managers; designers and hosts need to understand the new laws in order to avoid prosecution – including those eye watering fines.
t2 studios are monitoring events with keen interest and invite you (and your cookies) to keep in touch with us regularly, for the very latest online advice.These are early days in the change-over. Precise requirements and rates of prosecution are far from clear.
For now, details and guidance are available from the Information Commissioners’ Office (the independent authority charged with upholding and enforcing information rights in the public interest): http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/privacy_and_electronic_communications/the_guide/cookies.aspx