The question is, does every website need one? Well, that’s what we’re going to answer in this article.
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.
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
Cookies can be used to track users across different websites and show them targeted ads.
There are several types of cookies, including:
- 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 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
Okay, now that you understand what a cookie is, let’s talk about cookie policies.
The short answer is, as always, it depends.
Here’s more info regarding the Cookie Law in the EU.
Here’s more info regarding the Cookie Law in the UK.
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
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
- 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
Regarding the tone of the 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
Make it accessible to users
Request consent from your visitors
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
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”
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!
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.