Today is the first working day since EU Regulations on the use of cookies in websites were adopted into law by the UK Government.

Does this affect me?

YES!!!

If your website has a shop module, an online form of any type or is plugged into a tracking / reporting package like Google Analytics then it probably uses cookies, and you need to act.

Chocolate Chip CookiesWhat is a cookie?

A cookie is a small text file that a website saves onto your device (computer, smart phone etc.) when you are using a website.

These files allow a website to ‘remember’ who you are, in order to offer a more personalised web experience.

As an example, it is cookies that allow online shops to work by ‘remembering’ what you saved into your shopping cart as you navigate around the site. Without cookies your shopping cart would empty every time you browsed to a new webpage.

What’s the problem?

The EU decided that there were privacy and data protection concerns with websites downloading files onto people’s computers without making it clear this was happening.

It was up to individual countries to turn this EU directive into law.

What does the UK law say?

The law, as interpreted and applied by the UK government, says that implied consent is acceptable.

This is a big relief for web masters across the country, as it means they do not have to find a way of allowing visitors to completely opt out of receiving cookies.

However this is not a fancy way of saying ‘doing nothing is ok’. For more compliancy advice visit the Office of the Information Commissioner’s website.

What do I need to do?

The implied consent model, means we recommend the following method to remain compliant with the new law.

Ensure a bold and clear message appears when a new visitor arrives at your website (to any landing page, not just the home page). This message will inform the user that cookies are being used.

You will have done your duty of informing the visitor that you use cookies. If they choose to continue using your site, you have received their implied consent.

You built my website, so shouldn’t this service be free?

We believe that buying a new website is a bit like buying a car. When we sell it to you, it is 100% fit for purpose and compliant (as it should be) with all internet browsers, devices and legal regulations. Like a car it is built to last and may run trouble-free for many years without any further tinkering required.

However if the law governing websites changes months, or even years after a site is launched, it becomes the website owners’s responsibility to ensure the site remains compliant.*

If the law changed requiring all cars to have blue headlights, it would not be the responsibility of the car yard that sold you the car to pay for your new headlights.

Similarly, while we will keep you informed, for free, of changes to legislation or internet technology that may affect your site, and will always do our best to complete upgrades as cost effectively as possible, we do need to charge for our time.

For most sites this cookie compliancy update falls under our new low-cost pricing structure, with prices starting from as little as £40 +VAT.

For a quote or more information please get in touch.

*Please note that if you have a Maintenance & Support Agreement with Lingo, upgrades like this are included.

 

28 May, 2012 by

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