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UK cookie law: Helping your visitors manage their cookies

According to the new cookie law in the UK, the onus is on the website owner to ensure that they explicitly state which cookies are generated by their site and allow their visitors the opportunity to manage (and delete) them. Recent changes made to the law center around user consent and, in particular, implied consent. 
 
Visit http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/privacy_and_electronic_communications/the_guide/cookies.aspx to watch a short video about these changes, and download a PDF about cookies and the law. 
 
It is recommended that you provide information about the cookies that are included in your site, upfront and that you inform visitors about the steps they need to follow to block or remove them.  
 
To accommodate this, we recommend adding a pop-up window to your site. Take a look at this tutorial for steps to add a popup box to your site: http://www.tipsandtricks.synthasite.com/JavaScript_pop-up.php

Once you've added the pop-up window, you can add wording that indicates to your visitors that the following two cookies are on your site:
  • One placed and hosted by Yola, to track analytics and provide our users with the analytics dashboard.
  • One placed by Yola, but hosted by quantcast.com, to track aggregate visitor information across Yola-hosted sites.
 

The analytics cookie
When someone visits your website we collect standard internet log information. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to your website. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. Analytics information is helpful to website owners as it helps them gauge their site’s success. 

 

The Quantcast cookie
This is a third-party cookie and helps us track traffic across all hosted sites. This helps us to manage server load and ensure that our users’ websites are served up quickly. 

 
We at Yola are also trying to understand the law and comply fully - but it is a lengthy process. The ICO has made the following comments about compliance:
 
“The ICO can normally issue massive fines if a company, organisation, or governmental body is in breach of the U.K.'s data protection or privacy laws. For the cookie law, the ICO said it has the power to fine up to £500,000 ($780,000), but said it wasn't going to suddenly "launch a torrent of enforcement action."
 
The regulator will instead keep its eyes peeled and continue to push for sites to become compliant --- despite having a year to stand on the right side of the law. As long as companies are willing to make the changes and can prove they are making steps to become compliant, it's likely the ICO will carry on with its softly-softly approach.
 
A ICO official said earlier this month that the U.K. data protection and privacy regulator may give organisations "years" to comply with the law.”
 
In light of this, we encourage you to work with us and not take drastic steps in fear of a fine, but that you do seek to comply with the new legislation to the best of your ability.