Summary and Guidance – FSB one page briefing
Electronic tags or ‘cookies’ are text files left on a user’s computer
by a website when that website is visited. This leaves a trail that
can be traced from the user to the owner of the website. Cookies
can for example track what sites are used and how often. This
information can be gathered covertly and it is argued that cookies
violate users’ privacy.
The e-Cookies directive is designed to protect the privacy of
internet users – even where the information being collected about
them is not directly personally identifiable.
The directive is not designed to restrict the use of particular
technologies as such. It is intended to prevent information being
stored on people’s computers and used to recognise them via the
device they are using, without their knowledge and agreement.
The directive is being implemented in the UK via the Privacy and
Electronic Communication Regulations and applies to all websites
can issue a fine if websites do not comply with the regulation.
However, the ICO has stated that it will not start issuing fines for
non-compliance immediately and will give businesses a chance to
Information and guidance from the ICO can be found here:
The FSB advises small firms to start looking at how to make their
website compliant. If your site does not use electronic tagging or
cookies, this regulation will not affect you.
Members who are concerned can contact Abbey Legal
Commercial Team for advice on 08450 727 727.
Abbey Legal’s advice is confined to what the new cookie regulation
essentially requires for websites – it’s then for the clients to take a
business decision about how, if at all, they would propose to
implement the regulation.
On 26 May 2012 all UK websites must offer users opt-in consent tools to allow electronic cookies that pass information about your browsing activities to third parties.
FSB Members can contact Abbey Legal for advice on compliance with this regulation.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can issue fines buthave said they will not start this immediately but give businesses a chance to comply.
Further information can be found at FSB forum http://forum.fsb.org.uk/showthread.php?903-Important-EU-Rules-on-COOKIES