Cookie Law: What Is It? How Do Companies Comply With Cookie Regulations?
Have you ever gone on a website and gotten a little pop up box that asks your permission to use “cookies?” That website is probably already complying with the European Cookie Laws.
But, What is a Cookie?
The term “cookie” is a storage of data (like logins, previous searches, or items in a shopping cart) on a local machine (your computer, smartphone, or tablet), which is sent to a specified server (usually the server of the website you’re using). This data is stored in text strings. This entire process is actually very simple and non-intrusive towards the user’s experience. Here’s a step-by-step view of how cookies work:
1. User loads up a new webpage
2. The website’s server interacts with the user’s browser
3. Cookies will be downloaded onto the user’s browser, saving bits of information in the browser
4. Various tracking data will be stored within the cookie that is saved in the browser
5. After new data is refreshed, the cookie data is sent to the website’s server
Through this cookie process, the user sends bits of information (in text string format) to the website’s server. This data can be viewed in many forms of online tools and applications, such as Google Analytics.
Is There More Than One “Flavor” of Cookies?
Most cookies are established to improve the user’s current experience and future interaction. The most common types of cookies are session, permanent, or third-party cookies. Session cookies are used to track data during short periods. For example, a website can track checkout data while you shop for more items. Additionally, permanent cookies are used to store long term data such as login credentials. Third-party cookies are commonly used for understanding user’s session behavior and interaction.
Who Needs to Comply with the Cookie Law?
This Won’t be Simple
Compliance with Cookie Law regulations isn’t simple. Many websites that need to comply with Cookie Law will require sitewide code alterations. The website’s code, server, and user’s browser must interact cohesively to prevent cookies from automatically collecting information. In theory, any code or server settings that track user’s behavior and information will need to be reconfigured to comply with the Cookie Law. Authorities have been clear in stating that “…you need to adapt if you want to respect the law.”
Have questions about cookie regulations? Does your company need to comply with the EU Cookie Law? Please give Media Genesis a call at 248.687.7888 – let our experts assist with your cookie needs.