25. May 2011 16:56
Businesses that have been rushing around, trying to find a solution to the vague new EU cookie laws that are coming in tomorrow, can breathe a sigh of relief, as the ICO states that websites have a full year to find a workable solution in gaining users consent before cookies are stored.
According to the BBC, the Government have set up a working group to work with browser manufacturers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome) to find a workable solution that runs cookie protection processes in the background.
This doesn't let everyone off the hook, however, as the ICO has stated that "Those who choose to do nothing will have their lack of action taken into account when we begin formal enforcement of the rules."
For more information, you can read the official ICO release and the official article on the Government's department for culture, media and sport website.
If you'd like us to carry out a review of your website, or have any questions, you can contact FastTrackIT on 0845 838 7802.
10. May 2011 13:54
On May the 26th, a new law comes into effect that governs how website's use and store 'Cookie' data online. (We apologise for the following joke) A law that's certainly set to... make the cookie crumble.
If you're not aware of what a Cookie file is, it's a small, sometimes encrypted text file that lives in browser directories, that are used by web developers to store information about people who visit their websites. While this sounds sinister, it's really not. They're used, for instance, to store information on products you've added to your basket on an eCommerce store. For more information about Cookies, go to All About Cookies.
What do the new laws mean for you?
The new laws essentially mean that web developers have to gain consent from their users before they can utilise cookies, but the first thing to remember is to not worry too much about it, as it's certainly not worth panicking about, at least not yet.
The second thing to do, is to have a look at what cookies are utilised on your site, and what they're doing. Some cookies are exempt from the legislation "if storing cookies is strictly necessary for a service requested by the user." For example, if you run an ecommerce site, storing cookies is necessary for an item to be kept in a customer's basket.
For users signing up to an online account, you can put some text in the Terms and Conditions that the user expressly allows the website to utilise cookies, and you can also do this on login pages.
The ICO have released a comprehensive PDF about the new EU Cookies Law (PDF) that we highly recommend taking a look at!