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You may have heard in the news that the EU Cookie Law came into effect on the 26th May 2012; but what exactly is this new law and how will it affect both the public and website owners?

The law itself was brought into play last year by the ICO (the Information Commissioner’s Office) and website owners have been given until the 26th May 2012 to get their websites to comply with the rules set out; failure to do so has a hefty fine attached. Can cookies really be that bad? After all they do taste good!

The law came about after it was pointed out that cookies track what you do on a website and can be used to target specific advertising at individual web surfers (This isn’t anything new, they have been used for over 15 years) . This in turn caused panic and a ‘big brother’ style syndrome amongst users unsure of what these cookies actually are – similar to the panic caused by Google’s recent change to their privacy policy which simply died down after about 2 weeks.

In reality, cookies are very useful and without them a website would not be able to move forward and provide the best browsing experience for those who visit it, and that is much worse as it could cause the whole internet to become stagnant. Cookies are important to web design, web development, SEO and many types of internet marketing such as affiliate marketing.

Also, all browsers have the option to disable or delete cookies and all have options to delete the cookies once you shut down the browser screen. So, although your actions on a site might be tracked for that session, they can all be removed from your computer once you shut down, meaning when you return to that site you would essentially be seen as a completely new visitor.


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