James Smith Landscapes and how we use 'Cookies'
From 26 May 2012, UK websites are required by law to comply with the EU "Cookie Law" which means that companies must gain the consent of web users before serving them web cookies. The problem is, most people don't really understand what cookies are and how they are being used already.
As such, we've tried to create a simple guide to cookies and help to explain what 'cookies' are and how they may affect you.
This website only use's non-essential cookies and these are used for analytical information only to help us understand where our customers from, when you are on our site which pages you enjoy and also understand which pages are not relevant. We do not hold any information about you and certainly do not pass this on to any third parties.
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a very simple text file that gets downloaded onto your PC when you visit a website. They generally contain two bits of information: a site name and a unique user ID. Once the cookie is on your computer, the site "knows" that you have been there before and can then use that knowledge to tailor the experience that you have. The vast majority of commercial websites -- be they major online publishers, banks or ecommerce sites -- will use them.
What are they used for?
Cookies are used for many different functions including auto-filling forms, counting visitors, storing shopping basket items, personalising content, targeting advertising, recording user preferences and for authentication and security.
What is the so-called "Cookie Law"?
The "Cookie Law" stems from a modification to the EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive, which took place in November 2009. It aims to safeguard privacy online and protect web users from unwanted marketing. Cookies can be used to build up a profile of where you have been and how you have behaved online. The law aims to make sure that any company seeking to collect information about a web user must ask for their consent first. Prior to this modification, websites had to allow people to opt out of cookies. Now they have to opt in to all "non-essential" cookies. The law was imported into UK law in May 2011, but UK companies were given one year to comply. The deadline for compliance is 26 May, 2012.
Who needs to comply with it?
The law applies to all member states of the European Union. Websites outside of the EU must comply with the law if they are targeting people within member states. So a website based in the USA that sells to people in the UK will also have to comply.
What is a non-essential cookie?
Any cookies used for analytical purposes to count the number of visitors to a website, any cookies used by first party or third party advertisers, including affiliates, and cookies used to recognise the user when they return to a website so they receive a tailored greeting or optimised landing page. These are the cookies being targeted by the new EU legislation.