Posted by Jeff Adelson-Yan (@jeffadelsonyan)
European Union members are not the only ones that will be affected by this legislation, however. Other countries targeting or involving EU member countries will need to be compliant as well. This means companies in the US with e-commerce sites that sell products to UK consumers or French-language sites targeted for a French audience will also have to comply, for example.
Comply with what, exactly?
1. Users have to opt-in to use sites with cookies.
2. The type of information captured by a cookie and the amount of time the information is held has to be public knowledge and in clear layman’s terms (this means you need to understand these terms, as well).
3. You have to gain consent from the ICO for the use of your cookies. Settings-led cookies, feature-led cookies and functional/analytical cookies all require different considerations, as they perform different functions.
4. Once consent is given, it is not permanent. If you change your cookie settings, it is mandatory that you file again for consent.
So how will this affect users?
It is likely there will be a banner or footer that asks the users to choose whether or not they wish to allow cookies to improve the site’s functionality. This is in the interest of providing privacy to users who do not wish cookies to collect their personal information. Though these mandates are not currently present in the US, this does not mean it won’t be implemented here eventually. It is important to remain as transparent as possible on your websites and cookie usage to avoid roadblocks later.
Visit the ICO website for more information about the ePrivacy Directive and the new rules on cookies.