Charities warned about changes to cookie rules

26 Apr 2011 News

Charities are being urged to be prepared to seek users' permission when using cookies on their websites following the government's recent announcement on the regulation of cookies.

Charities are being urged to be prepared to seek users' permission when using cookies on their websites following the government's recent announcement on the regulation of cookies.

Cookies, the text files that websites put onto a user’s computer to store information such as user preferences, are one of the main things to be affected by the changes to the EU Electronic Communications framework.

Susie Wright, an associate at ICT consultancy Sue Fidler Ltd, said: "Until we hear the government's announcement about the solutions they've been able to achieve to meet the EU amendment, it isn't possible to say what charities will need to do in response.”

She said that charities should prepare by making sure that they are clear about how and why they are using cookies and having a clear statement on their website explaining this and how to turn them off. 

Wright added: “That way, when the UK government makes its announcement, charities will be in a good position to understand the implications of the directive for their own particular use or uses of cookies.”

Deadline may be missed

One silver lining is that the government does not expect organisations to be ready before the deadline of 25 May.

Ed Vaizey, communications minister, said: “We recognise that work on the technical solutions for cookie-use will not be complete by the implementation deadline. It will take time for meaningful solutions to be developed, evaluated and rolled out.”

The government also announced that it would be working with web browsers to see if the regulations can be met through an enhancement of browser settings as well as looking at how to address behavioural advertising and setting up a working group to explore other options.

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