They’re ugly, right?
Ok, we’re in agreement here, so why do we need them? The rules and regulations around the use of this notification, shift regularly and come under jurisdictional review, making it hard to answer that question cleanly and simply. As recently as October 2015, along with the collapse of “Safe Harbour”, the machinations of cookie consent have changed and been revised.
The basic premise of cookie consent legislation is data protection. Even though cookies (small text files of data with expiry dates) stored on your machine are in and of themselves mostly harmless, they can be used to store personal data about you or your users. Sometimes this is just stuff like session data, relating to a user’s login, or a persistent login (i.e. so you don’t need to login again at a later date). Sometimes, in e-commerce, it can relate to what you’ve put in your shopping cart. But the problems arise when they store data such as your personal details or credit card details (to name but two). Further issues arise when the handling of the cookie is managed by a third party website of application.
Will we ever see a day where these alerts are no longer required? The short and short-term answer is No. Even though most developers are in agreement that they can hamper user’s sense of trust in your website, there is no indication that the EU is going to scrap their requirement. Even with the advent of HTML5 and Local Storage, the cookie consent legislation relates to ALL data retained by the website, no matter the format. In fact, we’ve called it the cookie consent legislation up until now, as cookies were the primary way of storing your offline information, but the legislation is worded to include all current and future technologies.
“But I’m in the States!” Doesn’t matter. Your website is a portal in the EU and, unless you plan on blocking all your European customers, your clients in Europe are protected under EU law so you must abide.
It’s very complicated, but we’re well used to dealing with it, so if you’ve any questions, call us and we’ll be glad to help you out!