Cookies are small text files that are stored on a user’s web browser when they visit a website. They are used to store and retrieve data about user activity, preferences and adverts that have been seen on specific websites.
Many users are not aware that they have cookies stored on their device, or which websites sent them, and this is why cookies are sometimes seen as intrusive or a privacy risk.
The law in the UK says that businesses must inform customers about any cookies they use and provide a way for customers to opt-out or accept their usage. Businesses must also obtain valid consent before storing a cookie on the user’s device.
The legal requirements of cookies can be found in the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.
What are the main types of cookies?
There are three main types of cookies:
• First-party cookies: These are used by the website itself and can only be read by the website itself.
• Third-party cookies: These are placed by third parties such as advertisers and used to track the websites a user visits.
• Session cookies: These are used to store data temporarily and are deleted after the user closes their web browser.
Become a Sales & Marketing Rainmaker
Learn valuable skills to win more customers, grow your business, and increase your profits.
What are the general guidelines and best practices for using cookies?
• Inform users about the cookies you store and provide them with a way to reject or accept the cookies.
• Only store the essential information required - don’t collect unnecessary or sensitive information.
• Make sure your cookies are secure and comply with GDPR guidelines.
• Carry out regular reviews of the cookies you use and have in place procedures to remove old or unused cookies.
• Ensure any third-party cookies you use are GDPR compliant and secure.
• Avoid using cookies to track users who have not given prior consent.
By following these guidelines, your business can ensure it complies with the law and protect customer privacy. The basic guidelines and best practices for using cookies include being transparent about how you use the data collected, informing users about the cookies you store and only storing essential information.