EU Cookie Law
The true name of the Directive is EU Directive 2009/136 / EC, also known as the e-Privacy Directive. This Directive has been transposed into European legislation for the first time two years ago, basically it is a series of amendments to federal legislation concerning electronic communications and data privacy. Part of this Directive, Article 5 (3), refers to the use of stored data by web sites and most of it is reduced to Cookies. In essence, with this new EU Law, all web sites will have to seek consent from visitors to install most Cookies. This law, whose biggest advocate is European Commissioner Neelie Kroes, does not forbid Cookies but only requires user consent before they are installed. Also, not all cookies are subject to these new rules. Data that is considered necessary for the basic functioning of the web site, such as session cookies used to track product basket up to billing, do not require user consent.
What is the purpose of such a law?
The basic idea of this law is to give users more control over who knows and knows about them and how this information is used. As part of the wider directive, this is an attempt to streamline the Laws in European Member States about things like retention of data and privacy. The creators of this law had a good reason to think that tracking users by web sites is a very important issue to be addressed. The recent study by Truste has found that a typical British website uses 14 different user tracking tools, most often without their knowledge. This study also found that 84% of online customers aged 16-64 are aware of Internet Cookies, but only 24% of them know about these new European guidelines. The Directive was adopted for the first time in 2009, but its adoption by the member states is by no means the desired dynamic. Many countries are struggling to align this federal law with their own local privacy laws. Until the original deadline for adoption of this Directive in May 2011, only Denmark and Estonia adopted national laws that were considered compatible with this new EU Law. The Privacy Directive is theoretically already in place throughout Europe, since it came into force on May 25, 2011, however, given that webmasters needed time to align their websites with the new Act, they have a period of one year to do so offices. This means that from May 26, 2012, all web sites will need to be adapted to this Law.
Who is this law referring to?
The law applies to all EU member states, but even websites outside the EU must comply with this law if they are targeting audiences in EU member states. For example, a non-EU website that sells its products to consumers in Germany, or who has a French-language version of the site targeted at users in France, will need to align with this Law.