Top tips: complying with the EU Cookie Directive

By Meriel Lenfestey

With the EU Privacy Directive coming into force this weekend most brands should already have a solution in place. But, if you who haven’t yet implemented any messaging on your website here are my Top Tips to help you to comply.

  1. Don’t bury your head in the sand: As a minimum, if you use cookies, provide a way for your users to find out how you use cookies and link to it from the landing page(s).
  2. Look at what others have done: Many providers are taking a ‘lite’ approach whilst they see what competitors are doing, and how the ICO enforces the law. If this is your preferred approach you need to balance the ‘liteness’ of your approach with the risk of non-compliance.
  3. Understand what you use cookies for: Some will provide a user benefit, some a business benefit, and some a technical benefit. You need to understand all three aspects. Generally, it’s the ones primarily for business benefit which are likely to be the most intrusive and therefore require particular attention.
  4. Use common sense: The law is vague and the guidance contradictory but all based on a desire to put people in control of their data to protect their privacy. So, try to operate in the spirit of the law. If you use intrusive cookies, accept you need to be more explicit about gaining consent. If you don’t, then focus on providing information to reassure users and the ICO that you haven’t just stuck your head in the sand!
  5. Involve the right people: In defining your solution, don’t leave it to the legal department, or the technical department. Involve user experience designers (UX) designers who will be able to propose ways of making the information and consent usable.

We’ve been helping several of our clients to identify the right solution for their business and their customers. The deadline may pass on the 26th, but the work on solutions will continue for some time.

What do you think?