Are you ready for this week`s change in cookie law?
The law relating to the use of website cookies changes onThursday 26 May
Put simply, from that date if your website plants a cookie ona user`s machine or you read a cookie without having first obtainedthe user`s consent, you will be at risk of breaching the law. Ifyour website has any of the following features you will need toconsider how the change in the law will affect yourwebsite:
• Remember me
• Recently viewed items
• Favourites function
• Personalisation features
• Online advertising etc
The only exception is a cookie which is strictly necessaryfor a user-requested action, such as a cookie required to operate ashopping cart.
The new law will be enacted by amending a set of Regulationsknown as "PECR". Although the Government has offered some comfortthat it will not enforce the new law in full from the first day, ithas now been made clear by the Information Commissioner`s Office(ICO) that every organisation which has a website must be able toprove that it is taking active steps towards compliance straightaway. In the first instance this means that youshould:
1. Check what type of cookies and similar technologies yourwebsite uses;
3. Decide what solutions to obtain consent will be best inthe circumstances.
The ICO, which has been given new powers to fine up to£500,000 for serious breaches of the amended Regulations, willshortly be issuing Guidance as to how it will enforce the new law -so time is pressing to be carrying out the three actions identifiedabove. There is confusion over what methods of obtaining consentare sufficient but themes are already emerging. It is now certainthat relying on statements in privacy policies will not in itselfbe enough to ensure compliance.
Rollits and its multimedia partner Headland have teamed up tooffer advice to businesses, charities and public sectororganisations as to how the change in law affects them and whatsteps they need to be taking. Rollits has a team of legal expertswith practical expertise who have worked at the forefront of dataprotection and ecommerce law for over a decade. Headland is one ofthe country`s leading digital marketing agencies working with highprofile clients such as Alton Towers, Santander and NationalGeographic.
If you would like to discuss how you can be preparing yourorganisation for the change in legislation please contact TomMorrison or Ken Heptonstall who will be happy to share theirthoughts with you and offer advice.
Partner at Rollits LLP
Tel: 01482 323239 or 01904 625790
Director of Headland
Tel: 0115 955 1155
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.