Beware of the cookie law!

Thu 31 May 2012 08:00, Tamara Yadvichuk

Beware of the cookie law!

Is your website ready to face the EU cookie law? If not, you may have a problem. On Saturday May 26th the year which the authorities had given to European websites to meet the terms of the EU ePrivacy Directive came to an end. So what happens next?

The new European law regarding cookies, or small files which websites save on the computers of their visitors in order to track their behavior, came into power this Saturday. From now on, all websites targeting users in EU countries must receive the person’s permission before saving any files on their computer. 

Cookies, apart from recording user’s actions on the website for future advertising purposes, are responsible for such useful things as remembering login information and personal settings, providing suggestions based on what you read, watched or listened to earlier, automatically filling in application forms and so on.

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The funny thing is that by now very few businesses have adjusted their websites to the new rules. The EU directive regarding cookies is said to be too vague and may be translated into national laws in different ways. Besides that, there is no clear example of how the user’s permission should be received. Some websites have adopted a cookie policy similar to that of Financial Times (pic above), some updated their privacy policy (BBC, for example, now offers a wealth of information on cookies and how to disable them), – and some haven’t done anything. In fact, multiple sources say that websites of several EU organizations, including the European Data Protection Supervisor, don’t comply with the newly enforced law themselves!

Is your website in compliance with the cookie law? Tell us in the comments!

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