What are cookies?
A cookie is a small text file that web pages you visit stored on your computer’s hard drive. The website’s server-side application generates the file and the data it contains. Your browser’s cookie can also be accessed by the server (but not by cookies created by other websites).
It is possible to use a cookie as an identifier for a website. Identifies you as the same browser that visited earlier, not revealing any personal information (since the website provided the data contained in the cookie in the first place).
In addition to keeping you logged in for the duration of a single-user session, this functionality helps log in and log out and multi-tab surfing.
Types of cookies
Cookies come in a variety of “flavours”.
A session cookie is the most prevalent type because they expire after one session. Almost all commercial websites rely on cookies to keep track of a single browsing session. Even if you’re not logged in, you can still use things like shopping carts. Basically, they’re telling the server that all of your requests came from the same machine and should be regarded as though they were part of one big session.
Temporary or transient cookies are commonly referred to as “session” cookies. Your hard disc doesn’t store them; instead, they’re retained in your active memory. When your session ends or a certain amount of time has passed without any activity, they are removed (usually 20 minutes or so).
Permanent cookies, also known as persistent cookies, are another prevalent type. These cookies can keep track of you throughout numerous sessions. In many websites and apps, the “Remember Me” or “Keep Me Logged In” this class of web browsers handles functionality.
Ads, in particular, can be tailored to your preferences and interests using cookies.
Persistent cookies can alter your surfing experience as well as be used for data analysis and tracking. Using them, you may learn how long you spend on a site, how you move about it, and other information on how you interact with it. Individual visitors and the frequency with which visitors return to a site are counted. Website owners use all this data to make decisions about anything from the site’s design to the selection of images to the length of the page.
When everything else fails, Flash cookies are there to help. Flash cookies are distinct from “normal” (or “HTTP”) cookies in that they are generated and kept in the Adobe Flash browser software rather than at a separate cookie storage location.
Despite the fact that you can clear your browser cookies, Flash cookies remain. Because of this, some websites (including those that don’t utilise Flash for any evident interactive purposes) use Flash cookies as a kind of “backup” for conventional cookies.
Cookies and Violation of Privacy
HTTP cookies are a need for today’s Internet, but they pose a privacy risk to you. HTTP cookies are essential to web browsing and allow web developers to personalise and streamline your online experience. Cookies are small text files stored on your computer that keep track of things like your website logins, shopping cart contents, and more. For crooks, though, they can be a goldmine of sensitive information.
Online privacy protection can be a daunting task. A basic grasp of cookies might help you avoid having your online activities monitored by others.
Although the vast majority of cookies are secure, some can be used to track you without your permission. And to make matters worse, criminals can sometimes monitor your online activities simply by intercepting cookies you set themselves.
The Law for Cookies
The European Parliament passed Directive 2009/136/EC, often known as the “Cookie Law,” which mandated that all EU countries implement rules requiring websites to get informed consent before storing or retrieving information on a visitor’s computer or web-enabled device.
To put it another way, if you’re operating a website in Europe, you must inform your users that you’re using cookies, explain what those cookies are used for, and obtain their permission before you can store cookies on their devices.
In order to comply with the EU Cookie Law, website owners who utilise cookies must take the following actions:
- Visitors to your website should be informed that your site collects and stores information via cookies.
- You must provide specifics on how the cookie data will be used. You must.
- You must allow visitors to accept or reject cookies on your website.
- If they reject, you must prevent cookies from being placed on their computer.
The UK statute first implemented a crucial part of the European Union’s privacy legislation. It can be found in the 2011 Privacy and Electronic Communications Act. In accordance with the legislation, websites and apps cannot retain or retrieve information from a visitor’s computer (or device) without the visitor’s express permission.
Cookies, of course, aren’t all bad. Even though they’re not required, a website wouldn’t work without them. Cookies that are “strictly necessary” to provide the services requested by visitors to your site are exempt from EU regulation.
For internet businesses, this is a critical exception. The things you add to your shopping cart at your favourite online retailer are expected to remain in your cart when you check out. Cookies are responsible for it. The exact reason you came to that website in the first place will be lost if you choose not to accept cookies from that site. Customer consent to cookies being used in their shopping cart is analogous to asking if they want the thread to hold their garment together when placing an order.
Websites that require high degrees of security, such as banking sites, require cookies that provide security features.
What is a cookie notice?
The GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive state that you must provide a cookie consent notice if you gather data from European Union citizens. Whoever visits your website, you can’t influence. Because of this, it is highly recommended that you include some form of cookie consent notice on your website. Tracking tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, plugins and social network buttons might help you with this.
Cookie consent signs and banners are required by European legislation for all websites that monitor or collect personal data from their visitors without their knowledge. Up to 4% of the company’s global yearly turnover can be fined for some infractions.
A cookie consent notification that complies with the law must keep in mind these conditions:
- A clear and unequivocal agreement is the goal.
- Obtain consent before processing any of a user’s data and keep a record of every instance in which it was given.
- Not contain pre-ticked options that allow users to cancel their consent for each form of tracking technology and cookie.
- Renew your consent every year
Different ways to notify users of cookies
It’s always a good idea to include a cookie notice in the footer of your website. Because of this, people know to check at the bottom of most web pages for critical legal links. You can be sure that your users will see and notice any notice you publish in the footer of your website.
Your website’s top header will feature a prominent notification. This means that it will be practically impossible for a site visitor to miss it. A cookie notice should be placed at the top of a website, where users are likelier to see critical messages such as sales notifications.
You can use a box notification to display an alert on your website even if the user is scrolling. Selecting one of the alternatives offered or agreeing to the terms in the box is required in order to get rid of the box.
As long as users are able to offer their informed consent for cookies to be used on your website, you can comply with the cookies regulation by adopting any design functionality that matches your website. The key is to ensure that your notification is clearly visible.
When a user sees your cookies notification, make sure to offer a link to where they can learn more about the exact cookies that your website saves.
New visitors to your website should see the notice on every page. Even if a new user arrives at a page other than your homepage, such as through search engine results, you must still show the notification message.
With this guide, we are sure that you can meet all the requirements of the law, but if you are wondering about how exactly to go about it, contact us here to schedule a call with our privacy experts, who will help you find the best cookie solution for you and your organisation.