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Hi everyone,

On the 26th May, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) passed a new law which requires all UK based website owners to give visitors notification if their website uses tracking – not only cookies but any type of analytics.

The law applies only to UK websites, so if your site is not based in the UK, you can ignore this, it doesn’t affect you.

For those of you with websites based in the UK, it is nothing to worry about, your website is not going to be closed down nor will you receive a fine, the ICO understand that this change will take time and are allowing website owners time to make the changes.

The ICO have actually said themselves on their website that their course of action if they discover websites which are not adhering to the new law will not be to punish, but to offer guidance on how to become compliant.

The law has already been relaxed, giving ‘implied consent’ is now adequate to comply where as previously website owners had to gain ‘explicit consent’ (meaning a visitor had to opt in to allow cookies). I am interested to discover what other changes the ICO may make over the next few weeks as more and more people express their unhappiness at the whole situation.

To ensure that all UK based VP-ASP sites comply with the law, we are working on a new module which will add a banner to the top of your website, this banner will contain information on the type of cookies used on your website along with a large ‘Close’ button which we are pretty sure 99% of visitors will click. Once a visitor has clicked close once, they have accepted that your site uses cookies and will never see the banner again.

We will shortly be making available a list of cookies that VP-ASP uses, cookies such as log-in info and shopping cart contents are excluded from the law because they are classed as ‘strictly necessary’ for the operation of your website, it is only tracking cookies used by affiliates and analytics software which we need to inform customers about.

We will have more information on the module over the next week or so and for now I hope I have eased any concerns you may have had about the new law.

Happy Selling!

Cam




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Comments

VPASP and the EU Cookie Law (00:00 29/May/2012)

The cookie banner sounds good. Look forward to seeing it.

Sharon - UK
Tracking Cookies (00:00 29/May/2012)

I''m in total agreement with the ICO on the subject of third party tracking cookies and as both a web designer and a web customer I see both sides of the debate that has been raging about this for the last year. UK site developers have had a full year to implement the new legislation and I am a little annoyed that the ICO seems to have backed down on the ''opt in'' option and now only requires ''implied consent'' As a customer on the High Street, would you be happy for someone to follow you around the shops, recording what you look at, noting how long you spend in each dept etc without your explicit consent for them to do so? I certainly wouldn''t and although I know how to turn off 3rd party tracking cookies, what percentage of web users would know how to do this without a link to instructions? I think some websites based in the UK will take advantage of the ''implied consent'' to continue to follow people around the web, anonymously or not.

Carrol - Scotland
Welcoming Cookie-Aid (00:00 29/May/2012)

That''s great Cam,The new cookie law is making un-educated web users uneasy about cookies in general. It would certainly be helpful to display what cookies we using and why we’re using them – showing, in the process, that what we’re using aren’t ”bad” cookies, but functional and even essential in regards to the customer experience and use of the site.RegardsKira

Kira - UK
The cookie banner (00:00 8/June/2012)

You should really hold off creating something at the moment until there are some real rules around this. The ICO have not defined what is deemed to be compliant so any solution you come up with may miss the mark. The only way real rules will occur will be when case law is defined (by court cases) which could take years. By then further laws such as the data protection act revision currently being worked on in europe may make this module surplus. By the way, this law was an enactment of a European law which all counties in the European union have to enact, the UK are the 1st to do it, others will follow.

Phil - London/England
The Cookie Banner (00:00 10/June/2012)

Thanks Cam, I think this is a really helpful approach. Whether or not we agree with the law or believe it will be changed, for now we need to comply and your proposal is a simple way to achieve that. The fact that the ICO says they will guide rather than punish is reassuring but, having said that, customers are seeing cookie banners appearing on so many sites now that it is important we are seen by them as being informed and taking this on board.I look forward to seeing the banner and am sure many VP-ASP users in the UK will choose to adopt it. Can you just confirm how you will be communicating this please - will you be doing a mailing to us?

Leigh - Winchester, England
Why only the uk? (00:00 22/June/2012)

If this is an EU directive (which it is), then why is it that the UK are the only country who are doing anything about it?(that''s a rhetorical question; the answer is that the UK is the only government that actually follows EU directives, all the other EU countries simply ignore EU directives)I don''t want to get heavily into the politics of it, but if none of the rest of Europe is bothering to police this directive, or even put it into their national statute books, then why should the UK be singled-out and force their companies to put massive/scary "WE''RE WATCHING YOU" banners on their sites?When I see France and Germany forcing all their companies to put huge banners on their headers that scare off all their site visitors then maybe I''d reconsider, but somehow I don''t see that ever happening.So, I think I''d hold-off with this for now because the UK is currently the only country on the planet trying to do this, there''s no sign of other EU countries even starting to think about it, and even the UK ICO is still changing its mind every 5 minutes and says that it can''t see any situation where even a small fine could ever be imposed.

Simon - UK
VPASP and the EU Cookie Law (00:00 9/October/2013)

Over a year on, we are seeing numerous sites now having the cookie warning for visitors. Can you give us an update on whether VPASP has a fix for this please? I am using v. 6.09.Thanks for the support.

Leigh - Winchester, UK
Free Cookie Control Tool (00:00 20/October/2013)

Many thanks for the link Gareth. This looks a great free tool but I have been struggling to install it so will submit a ticket to the Helpdesk.Thanks again.

Leigh - Winchester, England
Try this tool Leigh (00:00 9/November/2013)

Hi Leigh,

We released a second blog on this back in December which directed you to a free tool which can easily be added to your VPASP store.

View the blog here - http://www.vpasp.com/blog/A-handy-free-tool-for-cookie-law-compliance/

Hope this helps!
Gareth
VPASP Shopping Cart

Gareth - Melbourne
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