The updated ePrivacy Directive came into force in May this year and although the ICO has given UK businesses 12 months to comply it is extremely important that all businesses have already completed a cookie audit and are working on plans to ensure that they can comply with this directive.
The key point from the ICO's published advice was that although they have announced that we have until May 2012 to be compliant, they also state that they expect companies to be considering the changes to the ruling and to have plans in place.
This means that if a complaint is made regarding cookies / data protection about your company, the ICO will follow this up with you and you may be expected to explain how you are looking to comply.
The ICO suggests that all companies complete a cookie audit, their advice on this is as follows:
- Check what type of cookies or similar technologies you use and how you use them.
- Decide what solution to obtain consent will be best in your circumstances
A simple search engine search on "cookie audit" provides a number of good articles to help you carry out an audit of the cookies your site(s) currently use.
The IAB AMC is taking its own steps as an industry to address the new law changes, we will be publishing a document on this shortly and updating on progress of the current actions being carried out. This will include details on:
- The technical working group that has been set-up to look at the feasibility of an industry wide opt-out solution
- The development of a potential "youronlinechoices" site specifically for affiliate marketing that explains the industry and why cookies are used
If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me but I do suggest that all companies take the steps advised by the ICO above if not done so already.
The full ICO advice document is here