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EU Cookie Law (e-Privacy Directive)

Copyright lawThe  new EU Cookie Law (e-Privacy Directive), which covers how websites use ‘cookies’ and similar technologies for storing information on a user’s equipment, such as their computer or mobile device, came into force in Europe on 26 May 2011.

Due to ongoing confusion amongst webmasters as to how best to implement the new law, this deadline was extended until 26th May 2012. As the 2012 date drew nearer, one couldn’t help but think that it had all the markings of the Y2K bug about it! A few days of panicking whilst some websites tried to get compliant and then a huge anti-climax as nothing bad happened to those who adopted a “wait and see” attitude (like us).

If you’re still not entirely sure what the new EU Cookie Law means for your website then you’re not alone. Even the Information Commissioner’s Office didn’t seem to have a clear idea when, with less than 48 hours before the deadline, it changed its advice and decided that ‘implied consent’ was enough.

The bottom line is, if you own and run a website you are required to comply with the new EU regulations. Despite the fact that no-one seems to be 100% sure what that means, you really do need an up-to-date ‘privacy and cookie policy’ at the very least.

Like everyone else we can’t be sure that we’ve done it right, but we have made an effort to bring the M35 Design website into line with the new regulations. Also to advise our clients on what the law says they need to do about this.

We can’t promise that what we have done here is absolutely ‘best practice’, but take a look at at how we have interpreted the new regulations. It’s not possible for all websites to have an alert (bottom left of each page) like we have, it depends on how your site has been built.

It is prudent to make sure you have an up-to-date e-Privacy/Cookies page, such as the one we have here and the one on the Number 10 website. You might or might not agree with the current government’s policies, but it is clearly sensible to take the lead from them on this!

This new Directive might prove unworkable and get quietly sidelined, we simply don’t know at this stage. Whatever, you do need to be able to make an informed choice as to whether to take a risk and ignore this new law or not. Quite who (or if) anyone would take you to task if you don’t show some kind of commitment to cookies and privacy is unknown, but we didn’t want to take the chance with our website!

If you’d like to talk to us about making the necessary updates so that your site is compliant with the new law, then please contact us.