cookie guide ireland

Cookie Policy & Information

A cookie refers to the information that a web server sends to a web browser when you visit a website.

This information is stored in your device’s hard drive where a web server accesses it.

Google has over 28 cookies tracking at a time.
Google has over 28 Cookies

Cookie store information such as what you did on the web page and even your name and interest or any personal details you have volunteered.

Uses of Cookies

Websites use cookies to improve the browsing experience of their visitors.

For instance, when you are provided with options on a website and choose your preferences, the website stores such data in a cookie.

On your next visit to the website, the servers will rely on that data to create a personalized page for you.

Online retailers also rely on cookies to store any information you share or any activity you do such as any items in your electronic cart.

This eliminates the need for the shoppers to keep re-entering this information on their next visit.

Cookies enable the websites to track activities on the pages. After visiting a website for the first time, your browser will store cookies that will help the website to identify you on your next visit.

The cookies enable the websites to know the pages with most visits and those with most repeats among other metrics.

Cookies allow your PPC campaigns track and show ads to users based on content they’ve visited on your website.

Controversies around Cookies

When you accept cookies, it does not mean you have given the servers access to your device.

They only have access to the information that you have given. Furthermore, cookies are not executable files hence they cannot be used to deliver harmful products like a virus.

Cookies make it easy for webmasters to track the activities of their visitors.

Surprisingly, apart from the websites you visit, cookies may also come from advertising companies.  

fiverr facebook pixel Facebook Pixel

In such cases, your information may be used to create effective advertising campaigns without your consent. Here’s an example of using a Facebook Pixel to put me into their advertising campaign. 

When I’ve visited Facebook the Cookie / Pixel they’re using to track me is showing me content I have looked at on their website. Remarketing on Facebook Remarketing on Facebook

Not all visitors to your website would like their browsing behaviour tracked. The need to protect such consumers has led to the development of privacy laws.

Such laws require webmasters to explain their Cookie Policy to their visitors.

Although not all jurisdictions are very strict, there are others that require the websites to get informed consent from their visitors in advance.

About Cookies Policy

Cookie law can be explained as a piece of privacy law that restricts the websites from retrieving or storing any information from their visitors.

Every website should have a cookie policy to ensure website visitors are aware of any their information that is collected and how such information will be used.

They are also supposed to know the types of cookies being used.

Webmasters are supposed to give the visitors a choice to accept or reject access to their information.

Cookie Policy in Different Regions

No other region has a law requiring webmasters to post a Cookies Policy apart from the EU.

Most websites outside this region or those not targeting users from this region only need to have a clause explaining their cookies usage in their Privacy Policy.

European Union

Previously, cookies were not a major issue for websites and their visitors until a few years ago.

In May 2011, the EU issued a directive that gave website visitors the right to choose whether to accept cookies.

Under this directive, users in Europe got a chance to reject the use of cookies that they feel compromised their online privacy.

Individual EU member countries amended their laws to comply.

Under the EU Cookies Directive, webmasters must put their Cookie Policy separately.

Besides, they must observe EU Cookies Law in their cookies usage. EU can be regarded to have the strictest Cookies Policies.

Under the EU Cookies Law, you should inform your end users and visitors about your cookies usage.

Furthermore, you must give reasons why you using them.

Before placing your cookies on your visitors’ computers, you must obtain their consent.

Under this law, you must provide an option for those who refuse cookies although they get have a less-personalized browsing experience.

Requirements of EU Cookie Directive

The EU Cookie Directive contains some requirements that must be met by any business that is based on the region or targets EU customers.

Most online companies have been forced to comply with this directive to reach the lucrative EU market.

According to the EU Cookie Directive;

Any website has the responsibility of informing their users about their cookie usage.

The site should have a notification such as a banner in the header that makes visible the use of cookies.

The website must make it easy and possible for its users to make voluntary, specific, and informed consent before the use of cookies.

The website must make the opt-out option available to users.
In the United States

The United States, like most of the other countries, does not require webmasters to insert a separate Cookies Policy like with the EU.

Find out more about European Cookie Law Here

Unless a business is targeting EU citizens, there is no need to comply with the EU Cookie Directive.

Most websites only place a Cookies clause in their Private Policy page with the aim of letting the visitors know they are using cookies. Some businesses choose to include such information on their Information We Collect page.

The websites are free on how they wish to display their Cookie information.

Using Google Analytics in the EU Region

Google Analytics cookie showing where people are visiting the website from…
Google Analytics cookie showing where people are visiting the website from…

Tracking website’s metric is important to businesses.

The availability of such data makes it easy for businesses to monitor Key Performance Indicators, ensure goals are achieved and follow the performance of the company.

Many traders rely on Google Analytics (GA) to track these important metrics.

Nevertheless, the use of GA in Europe must comply with the EU Cookie Directive.

This is because the tracking system relies cookies to collect data on the activities of every user on a website.

GA mainly uses four different cookies, which have different purposes. Nevertheless, you don’t have to explain the detail of each cookie to your consumers.

When you have a good understanding of the various cookies used, you will know the kind of information you are collecting from your visitors and the need to comply with the EU Cookie Directive.

Cookies Policy Link

When your business is based in the EU or when targeting EU citizens, you must include a Cookies notice.

Besides, you should have a link that redirects to your Cookies Policy on your website’s footer.

This means that even if you have a footer link but lack Cookies notice, you have not complied because there is no way of getting active consent from your visitors.

Onetrust Cookie Policies
One Trust Cookies are excellent at helping you get GDPR compliant with your cookie policy and opt-in mentions. They’re worth meeting to discuss your requirements. 

How to Ensure Adherence to the EU Cookie Directive

Now that you have familiarized yourself with EU Cookie Directive, it is important to know how to comply with it.

Given the many requirements in this directive, it is not hard to get lost hence the need to simplify the process.

Here is a Cookie Compliance checklist:

1. Cookies Policy:

It is important to ensure you have a Cookies Policy as required under the EU directive.

It is on this page that you will explain everything about your cookies as explained above. This may include defining what cookie is in simple terms.

The essence of Cookies Policy is to ensure that consumers have a good understanding of what cookies are.

Furthermore, it enables the visitors to determine which cookies they feel may compromise their privacy and skip them.

2. Banner

EU Cookies Directive requires any website to immediately inform its users on their first visit that they use cookies.

Such banners or pop-up notifications should contain important information about the cookies such as their uses.

Apart from using a simple language, the banners should be placed in an obvious location.

3. Consent

Getting an informed consent from your website visitors is important under the EU Cookies Directive.

You can achieve this by using a checkbox or simple clickable button.

This method is called affirmative action. Another way you can get the consent from your customers is by telling them that further browsing means they have accepted the cookies.

national geographic cookie policy
GDPR Compliant – National Geographic

4. Opt-out Option

Although cookies are not a major concern for users, there are those who feel uncomfortable with them.

Under the EU Cookie Directive, the webmasters must provide the users with an opt-out option.

Cookies notice is vital to businesses targeting EU citizens hence the need to be sensitive to its design and wording.

It is also important to ensure you have complied with every requirement in the EU Cookies Directive.

opt out cookie policy on websites.
Cookie Conscent – Opt-Out

Apart from using simple language in your cookies notice, you should place in such a way that first-time visitors see it quickly.

Although some businesses find it challenging to comply with the EU Cookies Directive, it is a simple task especially if you have gone through the above compliance checklist.

You shouldn’t be in a hurry to launch a website if you are unsure you have complied with every requirement as you may lose customer trust in the region.

If you need more information or you need to speak with someone about the EU cookie policy don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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