Business News

Research highlights cookie law non-compliance

New research has highlighted the potential scale of organisations and businesses failing to comply with EU directives on downloading cookies.

An August report issued by the Society for Local Authority IT Managers (Socitm) revealed that only six out of 603 public sector websites it checked were compliant on regulations that came into effect in May, which require website operators to ensure they have the informed consent of users for the use of cookies.

A cookie is a small file that a website places on a user’s computer so that it can remember something, for example the user’s preferences, at a later time.

The Socitm audit, which included council, police and fire websites, found that the average English county council website had 186 cookies. Prior to the audit, Socitm asked organisations how many cookies they thought they had and the best guess was just 19 per cent of the total.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has given businesses and organisations that run websites aimed at UK consumers until next May to take the necessary steps to comply with the new cookies rules before enforcement of the law begins. It has also issued information and guidance on the rules.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said: “As the regulator, I’m conscious that my own website will be looked at for a model of how to comply.

“We’ve decided to place a header bar on our website giving users information about the cookies we use and choices about how to manage them.

“I am not saying that other websites should necessarily do the same. Every website is different and prescriptive and universal ‘to do’ lists would only hinder rather than help businesses to find a solution that works best for them and their customers.”

LINK: ICO information and guidance

Leave a Reply