Website owners have been told they must decide how they are going to comply with a change in the law concerning cookies.
The new law requires a user’s consent to place cookies on their device and comes into force on 26th May 2011. The enforcer is the Information Commissioner’s Office. It has issued guidance.
As this is a change in the law, the ICO’s guidance carries more weight than its advice on good and bad website practices which is often ignored.
Collecting email addresses for access to websites for example is deemed bad practice by the ICO but is standard practice across sales websites. The ICO cannot take enforcement action against bad practice but will have a statutory duty to enforce changes in the law.
The techniques that websites already use to collect email addresses could now be used to gain user’s informed consent to placing cookies on their machines before giving them access to websites.
Website owners, how are you planning to ask users for consent?