What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files that are downloaded to a device (e.g. a computer or smartphone). Cookies contain uniquely generated references which are used to distinguish someone from other users. They allow information gathered on one webpage to be stored until it is needed for use on another, allowing a website to provide a personalised experience (like remembering favourites) and provide the website owner with statistics about how the visitor interacts with the website.
tell people the cookies are there;
explain what the cookies are doing and why; and
get the person’s consent to store a cookie on their device.
As well as being a legal requirement, a well-drafted cookies policy can help to gain customer’s trust and show that you take their privacy seriously:
Comply with the law - a cookies policy is key to ensure that you comply with the laws on cookies in the UK. It is a legal requirement to tell people about cookies when you use them, and ensure you have their consent to use the cookies too;
Show you take privacy seriously - personal data can be a key asset for a business. But it is crucial that the personal data is protected. Having a cookies policy in place can show individuals that you take their privacy seriously and have measures in place to protect their personal data that is collected via cookies.
Individuals must be provided with “clear and comprehensive information” about the cookies being used. The information has to cover:
the cookies you intend to use;
the purposes for which you intend to use them;
any third parties who may also process information stored in or accessed from the user’s device; and
the duration of any cookies you wish to set.
Use our checklist to ensure you include all of the key matters in your cookies policy.
How do I bring the cookies policy to website visitors' attention?
You must make users aware of the cookies being placed on their devices and your methods of providing this information should be as user-friendly as possible.
positioning – simply moving the link from the footer of the page to somewhere more likely to catch attention is an easy but effective thing to try; and
What else do I need to do in relation to cookie use on my website?
carrying out a cookies audit so you are fully aware of the cookies in use;
ensuring that individuals have a clear and easy way to withdraw their consent.
Find out more about how to ensure your website complies with data protection laws here.
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