On 26th May 2012 all UK websites must offer users opt-in consent tools to allow cookies that pass information about your browsing activities to 3rd parties.
The reality is that the majority of websites will wait and see if anyone gets dragged over the coals and then respond. The problem is if you were to get singled out. I’ve deployed a compliant solution on one of my own websites here which you can try which brings up a pop-up window informing the user of what is going on and asking their permission to store cookies. Once accepted, the visitor won’t see the message again (unless they delete their cookies!)
Although the legislation is completely ridiculous and ill conceived in my view (and almost everyone else’s) however the legislation is here and may be enforced.
There are two options:
- Ignore the legislation, maintain the volume of your user visits and hopefully fall under the radar without getting fined or sued.
- I can install a small plugin to your site which does what I’ve outlined above but will initially substantially reduce your site visitors until they get used to this nonsense.
To existing customers, please let me know if you’d like me to carry out option 2. It’s a relatively minor modification so I’ll factor the costs in to your next website update.
Just as a footnote, online shops simply can’t function without cookies therefore it shouldn’t be required to request consent from shop visitors as this is considered essential for the functionality of a site however using plugins to facebook, twitter, google analytics, newsletter and booking systems will require active user cookie consent..