New Cookie Regulations

On 26 May 2011, the Privacy and Electronic Communication (EC Directive) Amendment Regulations 2011 came into force. These make amendments to the existing Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 to form the updated Regulations. The main effect is on the use of cookies or equivalent on websites and mobile phones. The Regulator delayed enforcement until 26 May 2012 so it is now pertinent to ensure that the Regulations are complied with.

Regulation 6 now provides that a person must not store or gain access to information stored in terminal equipment (computer or mobile phone) of a subscriber or user unless the subscriber or user

(a) is provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purpose of the storage or access; and

(b) has given consent.

As a result of the Regulations, any website which uses cookies must (i) provide website users or subscribers with clear and comprehensive information about the cookies used on the website (ii) their purpose and (iii) obtain consent to the use of the cookies unless one of the exceptions applies. This is a change from the previous position, whereby users had to be told about cookies but only had to be given an opportunity to "opt out" of the use of cookies.

For further details on the new regulations please click here to read our briefing note or contact our partner, Beverley Flynn on 01483 734264 or by email.
 

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