Websites usually install cookies on the users who visit their site to gather different kinds of information. Most of the time, this isn’t even done with the permission of the users and some website end up gathering personal information too. To counter this and to ensure the privacy of the users, Information Commissioner’s Office in UK has introduced new laws which will define the details of what data can be stored on cookies and how.
The law, scheduled to be applicable since May 26, is already in force now. However, a lot of UK websites are not complying to it and still need to change their cookies policy to enact this new law.
ICO has given the businesses and firms in UK a time period of 12 months in advance to prepare for the new law and to make preparations accordingly. They were asked to change their policies governing cookies installation on users’ computers by May 26th. But thousands of UK websites still haven’t changed their policies.
According to the new law, websites will have to ask explicitly from the users about permission to store any detailed information in the cookie they are to store on the users’ machine. Such websites which are already enacting a new policy in light of this law, getting consent from the users involves the opening of a pop-up box which tells the user about the changes and then asks the user’s permission to gather information to be stored on cookies, also telling him what will happen if he doesn’t.
However, ICO is still not very strict towards the implementation of this law yet. In ICO’s opinion, monitoring cookies for a huge business or website can be a very daunting task and it can take some time before any changes are made to it. That is why ICO is allowing some space to the website who haven’t upgraded their policies yet.
According to the group manager at ICO, Dave Evans, “Those are setting out the steps we think they need to take in order to become compliant and when we expect them to be taking those steps. If they comply with one of those notices or sign one of those undertakings they are committing to doing this properly and that’s the main point.”