The information contained here is by no means professional legal advice and the warranty on the accuracy or the continued accuracy of the information here is completely disclaimed and should not be relied upon, or constituted as, legal or professional advice. For compliance to the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 please consult a professionally qualified lawyer.
The UK government implemented the directive for compliance, with the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (hereinafter also referred to as “2011 Regulation”)
What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files placed on a web site visitor’s computer so certain information can be sent back to the web site that it may need for certain reasons. For example, cookies can be used to:
- Allow visitors to remain logged in to a web site.
- Understand whether a visitor has visited the web site before.
- Tracking purposes – some cookies may be used for tracking purposes which can be used to build up a picture of the kind of web sites you visit often and can theoretically be used to understand your interests. Some people consider this an invasion of privacy. Usually, tracking cookies are placed by third party web sites by the use of advertisements being visible on the web site you are accessing – some browsers will, by default, not permit third-party cookies from being set but others allow this by default. However, most browsers allow you to change this setting in the application settings or preferences.
Why does this law even exist?
- Ignore the notification and/or hide it.
- Find it confusing.
- Find it annoying
But nonetheless, the EU directive amendment is in effect and the 2011 Regulation is now in force. The maximum fine a company can receive for breach of the 2011 Regulation is £500,000 – but do bear in mind this is the maximum fine a company can be handed. If you don’t already have provisions in place to comply with the 2011 Regulation, it is important you consider putting some in place.
(I’d just like to remind one more time – Webhosting UK COM Limited and its employees and representatives are not lawyers and any advice, suggestions or information contained herein cannot be relied upon as professional legal advice – please consult a qualified lawyer for legal or technical advice to comply with the 2011 Regulation.)
You can set the name of the page that the button references to within the “Cookie Law Info” settings. This page can be used to display information about what cookies are and then you can get the plugin to list all of the cookies your WordPress blog is using in a table.
You can use the Chrome browser to see all the cookies and sessions that may be set on your blog and for the duration a cookie is set (and other browsers that have these features built-in). Check out the “Cookie Law Info” settings to configure the page to display the cookie information and tabular list of the cookies that may be potentially set on your blog.
If you use the XenForo forum software suite, from version 1.1.3 they have a “Cookie Notice” option you can enable in Options > Basic Board Information > Show Cookie Notice on First Visit.
Here are some example notifications sites are using:
It is better protection for you as a web site owner to ensure you make the cookies notice clearly visible to the visitor. Some web sites (such as the itv website) have their cookie notice displayed at the bottom of the page, some use overlay bars at the bottom that consistently stay there until the user has explicitly hidden the notification, while some others warn the user that the notification will only be displayed once.
In general, if you are going to be using cookies for tracking, analytical or statistical purposes, be clear about this on the “cookie information” page. You should also state on that page that users can opt not to have certain cookies placed if they do not use certain functions of the site, such as the login and registration functions.
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