Heard the one about the cookies?
If you’ve been engaged in building a new website lately, or implementing a new bit of software for public use (like an Applicant Tracking System for example) then you may have heard some rumblings about Cookies and the new EU Cookie law. We thought it might be useful to throw a few notes on the blog here to give you some background.
So, what’s it all about? Well in a nutshell, don’t worry, it’s all a storm in a teacup and fairly easily worked around…but you do need to be aware of it.
Now, the longer version!
On the face of it this sounds quite reasonable, after all, there’s lots of nasty companies out there tracking our every move right? Well, no. There are probably some very egregious uses of cookies out there, but they’re definitely the exception rather than the rule. Unfortunately genuinely useful, and pretty much benign, cookies like those used by Google Analytics, social sharing buttons, Youtube videos and some content management systems are also covered by the same law.
So we were left with the possibility that we’d either have to break the law, or ask every visitor a confusing question they’d probably say no to (it’s easier than trying to understand what’s being asked) and see the statistics for all our sites drop through the floor overnight. Making ROI considerably harder to divine!
Fortunately when the law was first introduced, the iCO also gave it a 12 month deferral period to allow everyone to get ready, which expired in May 2012. They accompanied it with some really vague guidance that left everybody nonplussed…so most web developers did what they thought best…and ignored it in the hope it would go away.
12 months later, about 11 hours before the law was due to come into force the iCO introduced new guidance that watered down the requirements somewhat…so where does that leave us?
Then, finally look at how you might work to either eradicate the cookies entirely, or implement some level of cookie compliance software to gain users consent. That way, if the iCO come knocking, you can evidence you’re aware of the issue and have a plan and a thought process in place to deal with any enforcement notice they might issue.