Cookie control is an essential aspect of website management, given its role in protecting user privacy and meeting legal requirements.
In this article, we’ll cover what cookie control is and how you can manage it on your website. We’ll also discuss the rules and regulations surrounding cookies and provide tips for avoiding common mistakes.
Cookies are small text files that websites store on users’ devices. They enable websites to remember user preferences, and they can have different purposes, including the following:
However, cookies can also raise privacy concerns, particularly when they’re used for tracking purposes.
In addition, under most privacy laws, it is crucial to obtain user consent before storing cookies on their devices and to provide the option to withdraw consent and control the data collected through cookies. Not doing so, can lead to hefty fines!
Cookie control regulations vary by region, with the EU and the US having different requirements.
In the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets out specific rules for obtaining user consent.
While in the US, there is no federal law governing cookie control. However, some states have enacted their own laws, such as the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA), the Colorado Privacy Act (CPA), among others.
Let’s take a look! 👀
In the EU, cookie control is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the ePrivacy Directive (or Cookie Law). This regulation requires website owners to obtain explicit user consent before setting non-essential cookies, such as those used for tracking and advertising purposes.
The cookie notice must:
Additionally, the Cookie Law requires users’ informed consent before storing or accessing information on user’s devices.
Remember, the consent must be freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous. This means that users must be fully informed about the purpose of the cookies and must actively consent to their use.
Failure to comply with the GDPR’s cookie control requirements can result in hefty fines and legal consequences.
💡 Do you need to get a better grasp of European privacy laws? Check this Quick Overview of European Privacy Laws
In the United States, there is currently no federal privacy law that sets out clear guidelines for cookie control or cookie consent.
In the absence of federal legislation, many websites operating in the US choose to adopt privacy control measures that comply with the strictest state laws, such as the CPRA, to ensure they are in compliance with regulations.
Specifically, if you process consumers’ personal information for certain purposes, including but not limited to, targeted advertising, sale or sharing, some of the US state privacy laws, such as the CPRA (CCPA amendment) and VCDPA, require you to:
👉 Check an US State Privacy Laws Overview
As tracking technologies are regulated in different ways and by various privacy laws, remember:
To manage cookie control on your website, you can take the following steps:
👉 By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your website is in compliance with relevant privacy regulations and protect the privacy of your site’s visitors.
As you see, being compliant requires a series of careful evaluations. A careless approach could expose you to massive fines and official reprimands.
That’s why it’s always wise to seek professional advice or rely on quality software, like iubenda!
🚀 Select the services/technologies used on your website that collect personal data;
🚀 Choose whether to comply with US and/or European laws simultaneously, in one click;
🚀 Customize and display a consent banner, set prior blocking of trackers!
iubenda provides a full set of solutions to help you comply with the cookie requirements, taking the guesswork out of compliance.