EU Cookie Law
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small text file placed on the user's machine by a website. This file allows the website to keep track of activity on the site during visits, and access that information on subsequent visits. The information includes login and personalisation preferences, as well as analytics information.
EU Cookie Law Explained
The EU Cookie Law, or more correctly the e-Privacy Directive, is legislation enacted by the EU to protect web users privacy. As a webmaster you need to get "informed consent" from your visitors prior to placing a cookie on their machine.
Cookie Law Compliance
To become compliant with the law, you must assess the cookies you are storing. Make a list of their names, and then classify them:
- Essential - Required for your website to function, for example to mark someone as being logged in
- Non-Essential but harmless - Not essential to core functionality but doesn't get used for tracking a user
- Fairly Intrusive - Used to track people but do not provide personally identifiable information, for example Google Analytics
- Very Intrusive - Used to track people and provide personally identifiable information
Once you have a list can can eliminate intrusive cookies, and inform your users about those that are harmless.
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