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Website Owners - EU Cookie Laws

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I have just been informed about the new EU cookie regulations governing all websites which must be implemented by the 26th May 2012 and it's got me into a bit of a panic this morning as I'm not sure I fully understand what I am going to be required to do. I don't want to end up with a £500,000 fine!

http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations ... okies.aspx

This is going to affect everyone who runs a website, be it business or personal ..... in fact it will affect everyone as it seems that we are going to start getting boxes popping up when we browse the internet asking us to agree to cookies being placed on our computers.

I have been trying to read through various documents on the subject but it is a bit of a minefield as to what cookies are exempt and which are not. My technical knowledge as regards website design has always been on a "need to know" basis only ..... as my web design software is a "What-you-see-is-what-you-get" program (Serif Webplus X4) which works much like a desktop publisher I haven't actually needed to know a lot! I've added a few bits of html code here and there for certain features, but that has usually been copied and pasted from elsewhere.

I need someone who understands these rules and regulations to help explain what I need to do!

I don't actually know what cookies my site might use. I don't gather any personal information about visitors to my website - I don't use Google analytics but do use Google webmaster tools. This just gathers basic information on what the main keywords are on my site, what search queries people have used to find the site and how many clicks to my website have resulted from those search results. It also provides information about which other websites link to mine and checks for crawl errors, html problems and malaware. I can't honestly remember how I set it up, but think I just had to submit the site to Google and add a document into the main website directory.

It's not a particularly useful tool and I don't really check it that often so it can be removed if I need to.

If you have previously visited a page on my website then any underlined hyperlinks to that page within my site will show as being a different colour to those which haven't been visited - is this done via cookies from my website or does the web browser do that? (Sorry .... I know I am rather dense!)

I have a basic web counter on the home page of the main website - this is a Serif add-on which just logs each hit on that page only. Again - if this uses one of the cookies which need to comply with the new rules then I can remove it.

The website blog uses Wordpress and I have no idea what that might use in the way of cookies but I believe there is a widget available for Wordpress which will comply with the new laws. Once again I have a simple webcounter on that, all it does is gather a page view count and not personal information about who is visiting the website.

I don't carry adverts or use Adsense at all - and don't intend to. I do have links to external websites though.

I don't know how this is going to work with embedded material? I have YouTube videos embedded and Google Maps.

I am just totally confused and rather worried by it as I have no idea how on earth I am going to implement this cookie acceptance box should I need to.

I need some help as I don't want to have to take the website down.


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No David - I was alerted by my web host (via my reseller for that web host who is a friend). The web host had posted a blog regarding the issue with relevant links for info and help - he alerted me to this in case I was using cookies on my website.

It seems that YouTube does set a cookie for embedded content, but I can avoid that by using the privacy settings for that embed code. They will still set a cookie if the video is played via my website but I am hoping that if I at least put a warning up that this will be enough to comply. I am still looking into things at the moment but I can't honestly see how this can be policed and whether they would go to the bother of attempting a prosecution on a website like mine.

It will be interesting to see how it all pans out with the larger companies though. I have yet to come across a cookie acceptance box on a website anywhere!

It's probably just me getting into a flap over nothing that should really concern me ....... not unusual! :oops:


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Just been looking at the Humpty Dumpty web site. They have added a ‘cookie warning’ and get you to agree to having cookies stored if you want to look at the site. Otherwise (if you don’t agree) you get redirected to Google apparently. :?

They did stress in the message that they do not store or use any data about the user.

I can’t view it again though as it only appears the first time you visit the site!


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Hi Howard

Thanks for that. The more I have looked into this, and the opinion of others I've spoken to, is that it seems to be aimed at websites which use cookies to harvest personal information for marketing purposes etc. The ICO don't actually seem to be sure how this is going to be policed and enforced but have said that they will act on complaints from members of the public. I am sure that they will also be monitoring what happens with large companies come deadline day.

Someone checked my website for me (although not thoroughly) and it seems that I am largely cookie free anyway. The webcounter on the home page sets a session ID - all this does is just log a hit when the page is visited and I don't get any information from it. YouTube set cookies where I have videos embedded ..... I can re-embed the videos using their prvacy enhanced mode which means that a cookie is not set until the video is played. I will add a warning about this. The only pages I am unsure about are the two bridges articles which use embedded Google maps - I suspect that Google probably would use cookies on such things.

I have been meaning to add a privacy statement to my website for ages to inform people that I do not gather any personal info, ISP addresses etc, from visitors and that I would also never pass on personal contact details - emails/phone numbers etc - without their express permission.

If I can at least get these bits sorted out then I think I should hopefully comply as best as I am able! I just can't see that I would be able to implement a cookie acceptance box anyway with the software I use ..... and I'm sure there must be thousands of people who are in the same position.


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