Cookies are mainly used to:
While cookies are meant to enhance a user's web experience, sometimes cookies collect information across different sites. The data collected is then used to create behavioral profiles which are used to determine what adverts or content the user views.
A Cookies Policy is a detailed guideline that tells a user how cookies are used, the different types of cookies your website uses, and how the user can prevent or control cookies placed on their browser.
If you have a website, you need to ensure that it complies with this directive. This could mean making some changes.
Failure to comply with the Cookie Law could risk enforcement action from the regulators. You could also part with a fine. The Information Commissioner's Office provides a detailed brief on what you need to do to comply with the Cookie Law and how these rules affect applications.
If you run a US-based business and you mostly target businesses located in the United States, you don't need to comply with the EU Cookies Law. However, if you have a US-based company and your main target is the European Union countries, then you must comply with the EU Cookies Law.
The policy needs to use easy to understand, basic language for the user to understand the information being conveyed.
Below is an example of Unilever's Cookie Notice. Even though it's called a "Notice" and not a "Policy" it functions in the same way as a Policy. Note how short and straightforward the Policy is, and how the site defines cookies and provide useful links at the bottom.
Unilever defines what cookies are, why they are used the type of cookies used, and how users can control or delete cookies.
Different sites use a variety of ways to inform users of cookies and their Cookie Policies. Some of the efficient, yet convenient methods for issuing this notification include:
The Food Network website features a prominent banner pop-up notification that lets the users know that cookies are used. Note how they provide a link to their Cookies Policy and ask for users to click an Accept button to allow cookies to be used.
Intrum uses a pop-up message as a banner. While a user can continue accessing the site and viewing their different products, the pop-up does not disappear from the top of the website until the user accepts cookies.
Vodafone informs site visitors that cookies are used by both Vodafone and its partners. A way to accept cookies is provided as well as a way to manage cookies to adjust and customize which ones are allowed.
General pop-up messages appear anywhere on your site. The messages need to be visible and clear. You also need to let the user know why the message appears and what your intentions are.
You can also provide a link to your Cookies Policy in the pop-up box message. This allows users to learn more about cookies and ways to control them in the cookies settings.
This isn't a very good method because it makes your site visitors make a decision about cookies without being informed enough to do so.
Footer pop-up messages appear at the bottom of the site. This notification can have a link to your Cookies Policy as well as a link to continue or accept for the visitor to give their consent.
eBay UK's cookies notice appears at the bottom of the website. It scrolls with visitors so it's always present at the bottom until Accept is clicked. This makes it hard to miss.