On 26 May 2012 the new UK cookie law was introduced, intended to give greater transparency and protect the privacy of visitors’ data on websites.
A cookie is…
A new law
Here is a useful summary by the BBC: www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12668552
The Information Commission, setters of the law, have indicated that they will not be jumping straight in to make prosecution cases against companies that do not immediately comply. Their compliance policy, which seems a little laid back, is outlined here: http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/9610-q-a-the-ico-s-dave-evans-on-eu-cookie-law-compliance
If your website does not comply, you are likely to be given a warning in the first instance with some advice on how you should comply. In my view it would be better to take some steps towards compliance as soon as you can.
Examples of Cookie Law compliance
The BBC initially chose to display a box with consent buttons the first time that a visitor arrives at the site. Unfortunately you need to use a cookie to detect whether someone has previously visited the site and so this is a rather paradoxical solution. Since then the BBC has adopted a â€œsofterâ€ approach and visitors are shown a statement in which cookie use is explained and it is assumed that the visitor is happy with this unless they wish to opt out. In my view this is a sensible approach.
When I visited my bank’s website I noticed that they have adopted a similar approach. Though with less emphasis on opting out or changing settings: