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10 September 2019 / Philip Nash / 3min read

Cookies – are you sure you’re compliant?

Data privacy regulations are ever-changing and staying the right side of the law can depend heavily on keeping abreast of the latest developments. To keep a lengthy explanation brief, the latest updates to the ICO regulations may mean that your website may no longer be GDPR compliant. But don’t worry, there are some quick solutions available. Here’s some context.

These updates centre around the usage of cookie bars, implied consent and the transparency with which you declare the usage of your website’s cookies. 

The most common way to confirm cookie consent is through the usage of a ‘cookie bar’ or similar mechanism. These pop up, link to a policy on the site and prompt the user to dismiss the bar if they accept the terms. These cookie walls, or a ‘take it or leave it’ approach to cookies, is no longer sufficient – it is this implied consent which is the focus of the ICO policy revisions.

Visitors now need more comprehensive information and the ability to selectively opt into (or out of) cookies. Website owners will need to take proactive measures towards listing the cookies that are in use and offer users the ability to partially accept cookies based on their function. 

There are still ‘necessary cookies’ – that enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility – that can continue to be handled by a user’s individual browser settings, but anything additional or third-party will have to be actively accepted by the user. For example, if your site uses Google Analytics, then the cookies set by that would fall into an optional category.

It’s not all doom and gloom though – as policies change technology often follows suit, and we have a compliant solution that brings your website back in line with regulations, providing all the necessary information and control for users.

Get in touch to learn how we can update your website to ensure ongoing compliance.

[Update: on 01/10/19 a European court ruling supported the ICO’s changes around cookie consent and pre-ticked boxes.]

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