Cookie Consent: How you can Implement Data Tracking Legally

Data Tracking

Cookies. Whether you love them or hate them, they are necessary for your website if you are implementing data tracking on your website visitors. There is no denying that our world is very much data driven, and that is true of companies too. You need to know your audience, understand your consumers, and gain information for marketing and re-marketing…and your solution is cookies.

The obligation for your websites to have cookie consent for retrieving and storing data from website visitors is not, however, an opt-in or opt-out situation. It is a legal requirement. Don’t miss the memo, get your website protected with cookie consent and allow your data tracking to continue to benefit your business legally.

What is data tracking?

Data tracking is the gathering and storing of information from the visitors to you site, which give you an insight to their behaviours, demographics, geographics, and psychographics. Cookies are the things that carry out that data tracking. To have cookies, you need to request cookie consent from each website visitor.

To make things more complicated, there are 3 types of cookies that can be accepted or rejected by a user. Session cookies, persistent cookies, and third-party cookies.

Session cookies: Session cookies are merely temporary; without the consent of a session cookies a user would navigate your site as if it were a new visitor with every page they clicked on. For example, on an ecommerce website a user needs session cookies in order to add to their cart, move onto a new page, and have the website remember the items in their basket. Without these cookies, the user would not be able to move from shopping to purchasing and their chosen items still be in the basket when they decide they are ready to buy.

Persistent cookies: With persistent cookies the data stored is more permanent (although, they do have an expiration date attached). These are the cookies that allow your users to set their own preferences and continually come back to your website with their preferences set. This could be a language setting, bookmarked pages, login information, menu choices, etc. With persistent cookies, the data tracking allows your site to utilise the individuals needs and create the best user experience for each site visitor.

Third-party cookies: This is where the behavioural data tracking comes into play. Third-party cookies track user activity across other sites. Key factors that can be determined with this data might be a person’s age, gender, their rough location, and their interests. With this data, you can build a more accurate picture of who your website visitors are and the demographic of people looking at your products or services. This knowledge can ensure you can market more accurately and retarget customers.

Gaining Cookie Consent

To be able to use cookies on your website, you need consent from every user. This is law. It is a misconception that cookie consent was made redundant when GDPR came into play. However, this is not the case. Infact, cookie consent is an additional requirement that is a subsection of GDPR’s ePrivacy Directive. So, if you’re neglecting cookie law thinking you are covered under your GDPR regulations, you are mistaken.

Cookies are also known as trackers and can seem invasive to some users. In particular, third-party cookies which reveal more intricate data on the user. Therefore, a law was passed that businesses must first ask permission from users as to whether you can track them using cookies. This allows a user to be more in control of the data that is gathered on them. When asking for cookie consent from a user, you must ensure your request is specific, offers the ability for the user to easily and freely decide, be well informed, and requires definitive approval via action from the user. Whilst all this is required, you do not need to explicitly list every cookie you use but instead detail their type, usage and purpose.

Need our help?

At MacMartin with offer services in Web Design, Web Hosting, and, if you’re just requiring more specialised support, we have flexible support packages to suit your needs.

When designing websites, we will ensure that your cookies are implemented in line with regulations and your users are able to easily give their consent for the use of cookies, so you can continue data tracking ethically. If you have an existing website, and you are concerned about whether your site is up to date with cookie law and abiding by GDPR e-regulations, we can happily discuss the ways in which MacMartin can assist you in making your website law compliant.

Please get in touch to discuss cookies in more detail and we can help you get on track to having a more reliable and consistent site that puts users first!