Have you heard of the EU Cookie Directive?
The EU Cookie Directive in full (great bedtime reading for insomniacs!)
The EU Cookie Directive is new EU legislation that was made law last year but will come into force on 26th May 2012.
The EU Cookie Directive applies to all cookies & other tools used to store information on a site user’s / subscriber’s computer that are not strictly necessary for the running of the site. Whilst it is not entirely clear what constitutes a ‘strictly necessary’ cookie, it would appear from some of the literature available that cookies needed for users to perform actions on the site, such as using shopping baskets etc, could be acceptable, but you really need to look into this carefully and decide accordingly whether you need an opt-in.
It is not enough to tell users about the cookies and opt them in by default if they don’t opt out (take note, Bt.com!!). You need to allow users to actively opt IN and the fines for failure to comply are said to be pretty steep! Eeek!
So, what can & should you do?
Ask yourself whether any cookies used on your site are strictly necessary for the operation of the site. If they’re not, you need to either remove them or add an opt-in. The most common cookies you’re likely to be using are Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster cookies to enable you to track traffic to & on your site and establish the most engaging content and the best sources for traffic generation. The reality is, unfortunately, that if you put an opt-in onto your site, many will ignore it altogether and others will say ‘no’ because they don’t understand cookies and their harmless yet useful nature. So what’s likely to happen? You suddenly have no analytics for your site!!
See this graph, showing the drop in ICO analytics data…scary stuff:
What’s the solution? I’m not sure at this point. Hopefully someone will see sense…in the meantime, I’m searching for some good solutions…
Ok – weird non-relevant bit: In order for my blog to be recognised by Technorati I need to put a code in my blog post, so here it is VTEH73RPUBZ2