Does your website ask permission of visitors before setting non-essential cookies?

It’s important to understand and identify what your website does with its cookies, as it could well be amongst the many thousands of websites that are still breaking current GDPR regulations. Does your website comply with GDPR regulations?

Here is an outline of what is NOT acceptable with non-essential cookies, inline with current GDPR regulations:

It is not acceptable for a website to set non-essential cookies on a visitors browser without firstly asking them for permission. To clarify, it is not acceptable for the website to automatically set non essential cookies first, and then ask the visitor to  “Accept”, or “Decline”. The visitor must firstly Accept or Decline the non-essential cookies BEFORE they are actually set. Not doing so (even if the visitor chooses to reject) is akin to closing the door after the horse has bolted.

What are non-essential cookies?

This varies greatly site to site and is largely dependent on how the website has been built. Typically non-essential cookies are Statistical Cookies, or in other words, the functionality for the website to track visitors using platforms such as Google Analytics. This type of data can be linked to an individual, and therefore permission is strictly required before a cookie is set.

Why is this important?

GDPR regulations protect the privacy of visitors, it is very important for businesses to ensure it complies with current regulations and if the website does not conform, your business is at risk of a fine from GDPR regulators. You can read more about the regulations, rules and fines on the ico website here - https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-pecr/guidance-on-the-use-of-cookies-and-similar-technologies/

Changing your website

Changing how cookies operate on your website should be straight-forward and not an expensive activity for your developers to carry out for you. If your developers have not already brought this to your attention, we strongly advise that you discuss this with them asap and satisfy yourself that your website adheres to regulations.

Keeping on top of future changes

Regulations change and at some point in the near future there is a chance that regulations will change again if the UK decides to implement different regulations to that of the EU. It's important that your developers periodically review your website and provide you with required changes.

Site Sharp is a UK-based agency developing bespoke websites and systems and provides online lead growth for businesses of all sizes.

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