Posted: Thursday, 12 January 2012 @ 09:00
The updated guidance is more comprehensive as it brings much relevant information together in one document after the rather piecemeal publications at the time the regulations came out. It includes a summary of the relevant law and terminology used before going into more detail as to what website owners should do now and in the longer term to work towards compliance if they have not already done so.
The basic message is that website owners need to tell visitors what cookies their site uses, explain what those cookies do and obtain consent for any that are stored on the visitors’ computer, mobile phone or other web-enabled device. This message is emphasised throughout by key points which are repeated a number of times along the lines of the need to provide clear and comprehensive information and mechanisms for making choices, all of which should be as readily available and easily accessible as possible. Any website owner who decides to rely on the exceptions to the requirement to obtain consent should check carefully the advice on the exceptions as the ICO’s view is that these are limited and will be interpreted narrowly.
The details of the ICO’s enforcement powers and possible penalties for failure to comply were issued a short while after the original regulations and after the twelve month lead in period was announced, so may have gone largely unnoticed at the time. The enforcement powers and penalties are now included in the new version of the guidance so cannot be overlooked. What is useful is the indication of the practical and proportionate approach that will be applied to enforcement with the more formal action and higher monetary penalties likely to be reserved for what are viewed as the most serious breaches as prioritised by the ICO.
Commercial Solicitor, Birmingham
Tel: 0845 003 5639
Previous blogs on this topic which you may wish to look at are:
Website owners are warned by Information Commissioner about lack of progress in compliance
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Blog by Sue Mann
Sue is an experienced commercial solicitor based in Birmingham from where she helps businesses all over the country advising on, drafting, and reviewing business contracts and commercial agreements. View profile
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