How the New EU Cookie Law Will Affect Website Design

by BigFork on August 20, 2012

The law was passed last year but organisations were given a year to put into place a system so that they were compliant, but what exactly do you need to know and how is it going to affect the design of your website?

Cookies are small pieces of data that are saved onto your computer by the websites you visit. They have many uses but they primarily store information about your visit to the particular website. They can be vital to the working of the website, for example saving what you have placed in your shopping cart, remembering that you are logged into the website, which saves the trouble of constantly logging back into your account and saving your location and time zone to allow your user experience to be improved. As cookies save data about your visit to the website, there was a worry that this is an invasion of personal privacy which is what brought about the law.

The law states that your website must tell people about the cookies you are using and why you are doing so. They must consent to the cookies being used and this can be gained through explicit or implied methods so when you are designing your website this has to be a consideration.

There have been many ways in which people have decided to go about complying with the new regulations which can be interpreted in many different ways. Below are some of the options you have:

1. Pop-up Box

BT have probably taken the most extreme channel to the change in their website design, and when you first visit their site a pop up box will appear in the bottom right corner of their website. It tells you that cookies are set to ‘allow all cookies’ and gives you the option to change the settings.

If you click through to ‘change settings’ you’ll be greeted with this screen which very comprehensively tells you what settings you can choose.

2. Bar across website

This second example relates to implied consent. The Guardian informs web users that there are cookies working on the website and directs them to a page where they can find out more. This page tells them how they can disable the cookies if they do not wish them to be active.

With so many websites choosing different options, there is no wonder website owners are confused about how to change their design. If you have any questions the best way is to contact a website design team who will be able to help you to go forward. In most instances adding a simple statement to your privacy or terms page will do the job.

About the author: Rebecca Field is writing on behalf of BigFork, a company offering website design in Norwich. Their expert website designers and developers work hard to build websites from which customers will see clear returns on investment and their bespoke CMS allows clients to take control of the site following the design.




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