The EU Cookie Law, Create and You
Posted by Jamie on Friday May 25 16:16 2012
Found in the category Web News
IMPORTANT: THIS INFORMATION HAS NOW BEEN UPDATED. CLICK HERE TO READ THE UPDATED COOKIES BLOG POST.
Privacy is a serious concern to those using and building the web, so it’s understandable that those who write laws governing it should want to ensure that, as far as is possible, the privacy of the user remains integral to the web experience.
It's no surprise, then, that the EU law courts have decided to tackle the issue of cookies (little bits of code that websites put on your computer for a number of reasons) that gather information about web users without their consent.
On May 26th, a new EU law comes into effect stating that it is illegal for a website to install certain cookies on a visitor's computer without their knowledge or consent. The way that the user needs to be notified depends on what one does with the cookies. It's worth thinking of this date as the beginning of compliance solutions rather than the beginning of enforcement. Those responsible for governing the law have stated that they'll work with those seriously infringing the law before seekign to punish them for it.
We’ve written a comprehensive guide to cookies and what you, as a user of Create tools, should do to ensure you comply with the new law. You’ll find our article 'What Is The EU Cookies Law and How Can I Ensure My Website Complies With It?' here. (Please note that you'll need to log in to your Create account in order to view the article).
The ultimate purpose of this law is to stop large companies using cookies to collect vast swathes of detailed information on their users in the EU. This is an honourable goal, as it’s been seen that at times giants like these are far from honest, but the problem is that in doing so it affects the rest of the web community, who are in general setting cookies that make the web a better, more personalised and user-friendly place to be. It’s basically like using a flood to put out a campfire.
We think that this law hasn't taken into consideration how it will affect website owners like yourselves, the small business owner who doesn't necessarily place twenty cookies on each visitor's computer. It's a short-sighted law that aims to nab the culprits but also puts everyone else in a fearful position.
This, coupled with the fact that the law has been in place in the rest of the EU for a year and the ICO still hasn't provided clear guidelines on which cookies fall into which category, paints a picture of a law that hasn't really been thoughtfully implemented or supported. However, the very fact that the law encourages website owners to educate the public about cookies can only be a positive thing in an era of online security and privacy invasion fears.
However, our primary responsibility in this situation is to educate you, the Create customer, on the law and how to comply should you wish to. Head over to our informative article on the uses of cookies, cookie categories and which widgets you’ll need to adjust if you want to comply with the law. (Again, you'll need to log in to your Create account in order to view the article.)
We aim to encourage discussion here on the Create Blog, so let us know what you think about the EU Cookie Law in the comments below!