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New EU law for Websites
What are cookies?
Cookies are very small text files that websites install on visitors’ devices for a number of reasons, such as to enable shopping baskets to work correctly and, at the other end of the spectrum, to allow advertising to become more targeted and personalized.
Cookies cannot harm your device at all, and they can make the internet incredibly easy to use, but obviously it’s only fair that it should be up to the visitor whether they accept these cookies or not.
All Internet browsers, such as Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, have an optional setting to disallow these cookies, but it’s felt by legislators that greater education of web users about cookies and what they do is required, especially in an age in which online privacy is becoming more and more significant.
This is why the EU Cookies Law has come into place.
What is the new EU Cookies Law and why is it needed?
The EU Cookies Law (officially known as the e-Privacy Directive) is a European law that was passed in Europe in 2011 but only came into force in the UK on May 26th 2012.
From this date, websites which include features that place cookies on a visitor's device must, in some instances, advise the visitor that this is occurring and, in other instances, actually gain consent from the visitor before placing the cookies on their device. The manner in which the website owner needs to inform the visitor depends not only on the purpose of the cookie, but also what the website owner does with the information collected by it.
The law was designed to stop privacy invasion and the tracking of the identity of visitors on a mass scale, particularly by large organizations who may be attempting to collect swathes of information about their visitors’ browsing habits without their knowledge. The law also aims to ensure that the public are more aware of cookies and what they do.