Internet Marketing Consultant London Blog: New Cookie Regulations – how will they affect you?

By | December 20, 2011

New Cookie Regulations – how will they affect you?

Jeremy Nelson-Smith, The Internet SpecialistNew cookie regulations came into force in May 2011. Website owners have until May 2012 to comply. So, if you’re a website owner you need to a) be aware of the regulations and b) ensure you comply with them by May 2012.

These regulations are designed to ensure that visitors to websites are made aware of how the site uses cookies and that their consent is obtained for the use of certain types of cookie.

So, what are cookies? Most of you reading this will know what cookies are but for those of you that don’t here’s the definition from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO):

A cookie is a small file, typically of letters and numbers, downloaded on to a device when the user accesses certain websites. Cookies allow a website to recognise a user’s device. (More info on cookies at

The regulations are complex and by no means completely clear, which is why the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham issued his ‘Half-term Report’ into how compliance with the regulations is going (or not), on 13 December. You can download a PDF copy of this from Just click on the link in the fourth paragraph.

I strongly recommend that you read the document and talk to your web designer, web master or web/internet marketing consultant to ensure you comply with the law. If you don’t have any of these and want clarification about how the rules might affect you then please email me at

The good news is that for many businesses, particularly those using cookies mainly to collect anonymous website traffic data (through Google Analytics for example), it is not going to be too difficult or expensive to comply. But comply you must!

Thanks for reading.


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