Website owners ‘need to get to work’ on cookies law

Website owners must try harder to comply with the new cookies law, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The comments came as the ICO published an update on progress on website compliance with the new rules on 13 December, along with updated guidance.

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, which came into force in the UK on 26 May 2011, means that UK businesses and organisations running websites in the UK must gain consent from visitors to their sites to store cookies on users’ computers.

A cookie is a small file that a website puts on a user’s computer so that it can remember something, for example the user’s preferences, at a later time. The majority of businesses and organisations in the UK currently use cookies for a wide variety of reasons – from analysing consumer browsing habits to remembering a user’s payment details when buying products online.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said: “Many people running websites will still be thinking that implementing the law is an impossible task. But they now need to get to work.

“Over the last few months we’ve been speaking to and working with businesses and organisations that are getting on with it and setting the standard. My message to others is – if they can do it, why can’t you?”
He added that businesses that were not compliant but were “trying to get there” would not face “a wave of knee-jerk formal enforcement actions” when a 12-month grace period ended on 26 May 2012.

LINK: ICO guidance

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