Cookie Law 26th May 2012

cookie law may 2012As of the 26th May 2012 will your website be breaking the law and subject to a possible £500,000 fine.

On the 26th May 2011 a new EU originated law came into effect that requires all website owners to make significant changes to their sites and may fundamentally change the web browsing experience for everybody.
This Cookie Law is an amended privacy legislation that requires websites to obtain informed consent from visitors before they can store or retrieve any information on a computer or any other web connected device. In the UK website owners were given 12 months to become compliant with this law which ends on the 26th May 2012.

The actual wording of the Regulations
1. Subject to paragraph (4), a person shall not store or gain information, or to gain access to information stored, in the terminal equipment of a subscriber or user unless the requirements of paragraph (2) are met.

2. The requirements are that the subscriber or user of that terminal equipment –
a. is provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purposes of the storage of, or access to, that information; and
b. has given his or her consent.

3. Where an electronic communications network is used by the same person to store or access information in the terminal equipment of a subscriber or user on more than one occasion, it is sufficient for the purposes of this regulation that the requirements of paragraph (2) are met in respect of the initial use.

3A. For the purposes of paragraph (2), consent may be signified by a subscriber who amends or sets controls on the internet browser which the subscriber uses or by using another application or programme to signify consent.

4. Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the technical storage of, or access to, information –
a. for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network; or
b. where such storage or access is strictly necessary for the provision of an information society service requested by the subscriber or user.

What is clear is that many website owners are not prepared and in many cases have never ever heard of the cookie law.
At Norfolk Computers we are offering a free cookie evaluation for websites under 20 pages (subject to demand) and where your site is non-compliant we offering to correct the problem for £10 per page.

For further information see the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) website.