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The ABCs of Cookie Text: Understanding Its Importance

Cookies are probably familiar to you. However, cookie text, which is an essential component of webpages and e-commerce stores, may be unfamiliar to you.

In this article, we will explain what cookie text is, why it is essential, and how to use it to get useful data to better understand your users, while also not ignoring any legal obligations!

Let’s see! 👀

Cookie Text

A cookie is a piece of data used by websites to remember users’ preferences, such as login credentials or items added to a shopping cart. By using cookies, websites can offer a more personalized experience for their users and improve their browsing experience.

And basically, it works like this:

When a user visits a website, the website sends a cookie to the user’s device, which is stored in the browser’s memory.

The cookie contains information such as the user’s preferences, login information, and browsing history. This information can be used to personalize the user’s experience on the website, such as by displaying customized content or remembering their shopping cart contents.

💡Cookies are essential for providing a seamless and personalized browsing experience, but they also raise challenges about data privacy and security, and that is exactly what we call a cookie text.

Cookie text is the message displayed on a website that informs users about the use of cookies on the site. It’s also known as a cookie banner or cookie notice and usually includes a brief explanation of the types of cookies used and their purposes, as well as options for users to accept, reject, or manage their use.

👉 Cookie text is a crucial component of website design and user experience, as it not only helps to comply with data privacy laws, but also builds trust with users by being transparent about the website’s use of cookies.

Website owners must ensure that their cookie text is clear, concise, and easy to understand, so that users can make informed decisions about their data privacy.

Why are text files called cookies?

The term “cookie” is supposed to have its origins in Lou Montulli, a computer programmer, in the early 1990s. And it seems to originate from a common practice in the kitchen of his grandmother, who would reward him and his sister with a cookie each time they did their homework.

Similarly, the text file would act as a reward for the website user, storing their preferences for future visits. The term “cookie” caught on, and is now a widely recognized term in the digital and data privacy world.

Cookie text is important for both website owners and users.

👉 For website owners, cookie text can improve user experience by providing transparency about the use of cookies and giving users the ability to manage their preferences.

Additionally, cookie text can help website owners comply with data privacy laws, which require websites to obtain user consent before collecting their data.

👉 For users, cookie text provides important information about how their data is being used, and gives them the ability to control their privacy settings.

💡 By being transparent about cookie usage, websites can empower users to make informed decisions about their personal data, which is increasingly important in today’s digital landscape.

📌 What are the regulations on cookie text

There are various laws and regulations around the use of cookies and cookie text, which website owners must comply with:

  • Similarly, the ePrivacy Directive mandates that website owners must inform users about the use of cookies and obtain their consent before storing or accessing any non-essential cookies.
  • In the United States, the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) and other state laws require websites to disclose their use of cookies and provide users with the ability to opt-out of their use.

💡 It is important for website owners to understand the laws and regulations that may apply, and to ensure that their cookie text complies with these requirements.

Not sure what privacy laws actually apply to you?

👉 Do this free 1-min quiz

Implementing cookie text on a website might not be a straightforward process.

  • First, website owners must determine which cookies they are using and whether they are essential or non-essential.
  • Next, they should create a cookie text policy that outlines their use of cookies and provide users with clear and concise information about what data is being collected and how it will be used. It is important to provide users with an option to manage their cookie preferences, including the ability to opt-out of non-essential cookies.

👉 There are various tools available to help website owners generate a cookie policy and implement cookie text, such as cookie consent management platforms.

💡 When designing cookie text, website owners should ensure that it is easy to understand, visually appealing, and accessible to all users. It is also important to regularly review and update cookie text to ensure compliance with changing laws and regulations.

Want to know what’s the meaning of “accept cookies”?

👉 See our article on what accepting cookies really means

The cookie banner below is an example of a compliant cookie notice – once implemented in accordance with the law.

Adding a service - Cookie Text

Remember that cookie notices are just one part of the cookie consent management requirements of the Cookie Law and GDPR. In order to be fully compliant, you must also link to an accurate cookie policy and block cookies prior to user consent.

Any site or app running non-exempt cookies or scripts that could either:

  • have EU based users (i.e any website running cookies that isn’t actively blocking EU based users);
  • or any website or app belonging to an EU-based entity (company, sole trader, public institution etc.) whether or not their users are based in the EU.

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.

🔎 Want to know more about what are the rules on cookies? See here, What are the rules on cookies in the EU and US?

What do you need to do to legally comply?

To ensure that your cookie text is legally compliant, there are several best practices to follow.

  • Clearly state the types of cookies used on your website and their purpose.
  • Give users the option to consent to the use of cookies, either through an opt-in or opt-out mechanism. According to the laws that apply to you.
  • Ensure that your cookie consent banner is easily accessible and visible to users.
  • Regularly review and update your cookie policy to ensure it reflects any changes in your website’s use of cookies or changes to privacy regulations.

This can be quite challenging to implement!

But don’t worry! Compliance doesn’t have to be difficult.

🚀 Our Privacy Controls and Cookie Solution allows you to manage all aspects of cookies, in particular:

  • easily inform users via cookie banner and a dedicated cookie policy page;
  • obtain and save cookie consent settings;
  • preventively block cookies prior to consent; and
  • keep track of consent and save consent settings for each user for up to 12 months from the last site visit.

It only takes 3 minutes 😎

Create your free cookie banner