Web Design

Cookie Monster EU Website LegislationWere you worried about 26 May 2012, the day new new European Union Cookie legislation went live?  Worried that your site isn’t compliant?  That you face a fine of up to £500,000?

Don’t worry.

At the very last moment, literally hours before the new European Union Cookies legislation went live, the Information Commissioner changed the requirements to include the concept of Implied Consent.  The revised guidelines were published just the day before the deadline

What this means is that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said that websites can assume that users have consented to their use of cookies.  There is absolutely no need to go through the complex process of asking users permissions to use cookies for Google Analytics, for shopping baskets, or for any other purpose.

Leading the way in terms of privacy, permission and cookies


Of course, the BBC is leading the way with a clear, simple and well designed handling of the cookies issue taking inton consideration the implied consent change.

“We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the BBC website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.”

Click on the image to see a larger version:

bbc cookies


Why the BBC solution works well

  • The first 3 centimetres of screen space (96 pixels) is taken up by the cookie notice. It’s very apparent it’s there, however it doesn’t cause any serious annoyance.
  • It includes a link to find further information about cookie policy.
  • This notice is there from the beginning. It doesn’t use any sort of  pop up effect or animation drawing unnecessary levels of attention.
  • It blends with their brand identity colours making it more seamless.
  • It doesn’t overlay the screen, meaning it doesn’t create an outright barrier to using the website.
  • It allows for implied consent meaning the person using the website doesn’t actually have to do anything in order to carry on doing what they arrived at your website to do.
  • It also allows for explicit consent through clicking a link
  • Rather than giving visitors the option to not set cookies, it informs people that they can change their individual browser settings in order to not accept cookies onto their computer. The action needed to do this is a bit of a “faff” at best and means people are likely to continue to experience using the BBC website as the BBC teams have intended.


Your simplest solution to the cookie legislation

You want to be seen to be complying with legislation, but given the current levels of confusion and non-compliance, and particualarly if you’re on a budget and don’t want to fork out the development costs of implementing one of these slightly more complex examples until you’ve seen or learned about more real world cases. Quite simply add a section to your terms and conditions, privacy policy or create a separate “cookie policy” page that explains the points outlined earlier.

Here is a good example of the simpler approach to compliance:  Marks and Spencers menu choice “New Cookie Policy – Find Out More”


M&S Cookie Message



Further Reading:

The Guardian:  Cookies law changed at 11th hour to introduce ‘implied consent’
Cookie Compliance Solutions via Econsultancy

One response to “Implementing the New EU Cookie Legislation”

  1. Thanks for your usual informative and commonsense approach. Hopefully, you will prevent people spending unnecessary money by stopping them falling for the usual con merchants that will try to make money out of this

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