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Impact - A Blog by INM

Archive for 'June 2012'

    Understanding the New EU Cookie Law

    Chocolate Chip Cookie

    In late May, the European Union (EU) implemented a new law that requires UK-based websites to warn visitors if they use cookies on their sites. Cookies are used for many purposes, including storing information in shopping carts, delivering targeted advertising, remembering logins and other credentials, and for remembering preferences like text size or color schemes.

    In essence, cookie technology helps organizations collect profile and preference information that allows them to deliver the personalized and more targeted experiences that consumers are expecting today. More than 60 percent of tracking data today is powered by cookie technology. While there are other technologies that allow for data collection and tracking, cookies are an easy option that many technologies still leverage.

    Contrary to the reactionary coverage it has generated, this law does not state that cookies cannot be used; it only states that visitors must be informed of their use and must provide “consent”. For many organizations it is the definition of consent that is still fuzzy. Just a few days before the legislation compliance deadline, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) updated its guidance on the law to allow for implied consent. This means that if the website or application discloses the use of cookies and the visitor continues with its use, the user’s consent is implied.

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