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New 'Cookie Law' now in place

The Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) new ‘cookie law’ is launched today, Wednesday 25th May, after announcing it in March.

The law will ensure that websites gain ‘explicit consent’ from visitors to store or access information on their computers. The law is part of an overall EU law on cookies – all businesses that track users via their cookies will be affected.

Deputy information commissioner David Smith said that a lot of attention has been paid to the ‘consent to cookie’ and he said that the directive behind the new law regards any storage of information on a user, ‘which is not strictly necessary for the provision of the service’.

He said: “It should and only take place with consent of the user and there is a substantial change where it is less about the user. Is it strictly necessary for the provision of service? While it is not strictly about the delivery of messages, there may be security considerations in the way in which security is used in the other information.

“It is a substantial change and there will be an easing in period where we will suspend enforcement action, but the regulations do mean this has to be taken seriously. It is the operator of the website who is responsible for complying with these regulations and their implementation.”