Do I Need A Cookie Policy On My Website?

Do I Need A Cookie Policy On My Website Cover
Ravi Davda Rockstar Marketing CEO

Written by Ravi

Mar 10, 2023

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Over the last few years, marketers have become more and more aware of privacy laws (GDPR, CCPA, ePR, etc.) and how to abide by them. After all, should you ignore them, the consequences can be dire. That’s why digital marketers and business owners have started giving more attention to website elements many used to ignore, such as having a cookie policy in place.

The question is, does every website need one? Well, that’s what we’re going to answer in this article.

So, if you’ve been wondering, “do I need a cookie policy on my website?”, you’re in the right place!

What are cookies and why do webmasters use them?

What are cookies and why are they used on websites?

Cookies are small text files that are stored on a user’s device when they visit a website. They are used to track user behaviour, remember user preferences, and personalise the user experience. Cookies are typically set by the website owner or by third parties, such as advertisers or analytics tools.

Think of cookies on a website like security cameras in a physical store. Both can be used to track the behaviour of visitors and understand what they do within your property. And, using that info, you can make adjustments to how you operate your property or simply work on delivering what they actually want.

So, in a nutshell, you can use cookies to achieve different objectives purposes, such as:

Improving the user experience

Cookies can be used to remember user preferences, such as language or location, so that the website can be customised for each user. For example, you can have several versions of your website, each with a different language, and serve the right version to the right users whenever they fire up your site.

Tracking user behaviour

You can use cookies to track how users interact with a website. For example, which pages they visit and how long they stay on each page. You can then use that information to improve the website and the user experience. For example, if users don’t stick around when they open a certain product page, you can adjust the visuals or the copy to make the page more appealing.


Cookies can be used to track users across different websites and show them targeted ads.

Types of cookies

There are several types of cookies, including:

Session vs persistent cookies

  • Session cookies are temporary and are deleted when the user closes their browser. They’re used to keep track of user actions while they are on the website
  • Persistent cookies remain on the user’s device even after closing their browser. They are used to remember user preferences and settings so that the user doesn’t have to re-enter them each time they visit the website. For example, persistent cookies are the reason you don’t have to re-login every time you open Facebook or Gmail

First party vs third-party cookies

  • First-party cookies are set by the website owner and can only be accessed by that website
  • Third-party cookies are set by a domain other than the one the user is visiting, such as Facebook Ads or Google Ads. They are often used for tracking, analytics, and advertising purposes
Do I need a cookie policy on my website? What is a cookie policy?

Okay, now that you understand what a cookie is, let’s talk about cookie policies.

A cookie policy is simply a document or a page on your website that explains how you use cookies and similar technologies, such as advertising pixels and local storage. Its goal is to provide transparency and give users control over their data.

Since data privacy is a growing concern among online consumers, website owners must understand the role of cookies and the potential legal requirements for having a cookie policy in place.

Do I need a cookie policy on my website?

The short answer is, as always, it depends.

European Union

If your website is based in the European Union (EU) or simply serves customers located there, you’re legally required to have a cookie policy. The EU has strict laws regarding the use of cookies. Those rules are known as the “Cookie Law” under the EU e-Privacy Directive as well as GDPR.

Here’s more info regarding the Cookie Law in the EU.

United Kingdom

Since the United Kingdom is no longer part of the EU, it has its own laws regarding cookies, and those laws state that you have to include a privacy policy on your website. Fail to do that, and you risk a fine or further legal action from The Information Commissioners’ Office (ICO).

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcing the cookie law in the UK and provides guidelines for website owners to follow. This includes providing clear and comprehensive information about the use of cookies and obtaining informed consent from users.

Here’s more info regarding the Cookie Law in the UK.

United States

In the United States, there are no federal laws mandating cookie policies. That said, some states have their own rules regarding cookies. For example, California has the “California Online Privacy Protection Act” (CalOPPA) which requires websites to post a privacy policy that includes information about cookies and how you use them.

Here are some more privacy laws that have taken place recently or are going to take place soon in the US:

  • California: The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2020 (CCPA)
  • Virginia: The Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA) (January 1st, 2023)
  • Colorado: The Colorado Senate Bill 21-190 for the Colorado Privacy Act (CPA) (July 1st, 2023)
  • Connecticut: The Connecticut Act Concerning Personal Data Privacy and Online Monitoring (CTDPA) (July 1st, 2023)
  • Utah: The Utah Consumer Privacy Act (UCPA) (December 31st, 2023)

If you’re located in any of those states, make sure to check the corresponding privacy laws to avoid any legal issues.

If you’re located outside the EU, UK, and US

Even if your website is not based in the EU, the UK, or in a US state that requires a cookie policy, you may still need to comply with other laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) if you collect personal data from EU citizens or California residents.

Also, even if the law doesn’t require you to have a cookie policy, it can be a good idea to create one. That’s because a cookie policy helps to build trust with your users by being transparent about how you collect their data on your website. Additionally, it can help to prevent any confusion or misunderstandings about how you’re using cookies.

If you decided to add a cookie policy to your website, here’s what you need to include in it:

Elements to cover

  • A clear explanation of what cookies are and how you use them on your website
  • A list of the types of cookies that you use, including whether they are first-party or third-party cookies
  • The purposes for each type of cookie you use, such as improving the user experience, tracking user behaviour, or serving targeted ads
  • Information about how users can manage their cookie preferences, including how they can opt out of certain types of cookies
  • A statement indicating that the website’s use of cookies is subject to change and that users should check back regularly for updates
  • A link to your website’s privacy policy, which should provide further information about how the website collects, uses, and shares user data

FAQ section

Furthermore, it may be helpful to include an FAQ section in your cookie policy to answer common questions that users may have about cookies and how you use them. Here are some potential questions you might want to answer:

  • How do I disable cookies on my device?
  • What happens if I disable cookies?
  • Can I opt out of third-party cookies?
  • How do I do it?
  • Do you use any other tracking technologies, such as local storage or pixels?

Your mileage may vary

Note that the specific requirements for a cookie policy may vary depending on the laws and regulations that apply to your website. If you operate within the UK, we recommend seeking legal guidance to ensure that your cookie policy is compliant with all applicable regulations.

Also, keep in mind that you should review and update your cookie policy regularly. After all, it should accurately reflect your website’s use of cookies and similar technologies. As such, it’s a good idea to revisit your cookie policy every now and then to ensure that it’s up to date and compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

Regarding the tone of the policy

Besides the information provided above, there are a few other things to consider when creating a cookie policy:

Use clear language

The policy’s language should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. Avoid using technical jargon or legal terms that may be confusing to users.

Focus on format and readability

Consider using headings and bullet points to make the cookie policy easy to read and navigate. If you want to go the extra mile, you can include a table or chart to clearly explain the different types of cookies and their purposes.

Make it accessible to users

Make sure that your cookie policy is easily accessible to users. For example, you can include a link to the cookie policy in the footer of your website. Or you can use a banner or pop-up to alert users to the existence of the policy and what type of cookies they accept when they first visit your website.

If your website is required to get consent from users before placing certain types of cookies on their devices, you must have a clear consent mechanism in place. For example, you might use a banner or pop-up that requires users to opt-in or out of certain types of cookies. Additionally, you can create a preference centre where users can customise their cookie settings.

You don’t have to write everything yourself

Creating a cookie policy can be challenging, especially if you’ve never done anything similar before. Thankfully, many online tools allow you to create a cookie policy in seconds, which you can then customise according to your needs. One great example is Cookie Policy Generator. Here’s how to use it to craft your cookie policy:

1. First, head over to their homepage and click on “Create a Cookie Policy Today!”

1. Do I need a cookie policy on my website? First, head over to their homepage

2. Fill in the required information regarding your website and what cookies you use then click on “Next”

2. Fill in the required information regarding your website and what cookies you use then click on “Next”.

3. Fill in the required information regarding your business and where it’s located then click on “Generate My Cookies Policy”

3. Fill in the required information regarding your business

4. Make sure to go through the generated policy and add any information you deem necessary

5. Voila! Now simply add that policy to your website!

Do you need both a privacy policy and a cookie policy?

If you already have a privacy policy on your website, you don’t need to create a separate cookie policy. Instead, you can add a few clauses that explain that you use cookies, what cookies are, and what types of cookies you use for what purposes. That’s how we do it on our own website:

Cookie clauses Rockstar Marketing

Need some help?

Taking care of all of this can be a hassle. Thankfully, we’re here to help. Just book a discovery call with us, and we’ll take all of it off your plate.

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