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IMRG enters into strategic partnership to help retailers comply with new cookie law

IMRG has partnered with Cookie Reports Ltd to help its members comply with the EU’s new online privacy law, the so-called “cookie directive”.


IMRG enters into strategic partnership to help retailers comply with new cookie law

IMRG has partnered with Cookie Reports Ltd to help its members comply with the EU’s new online privacy law, the so-called “cookie directive”.

Previously, consumers who objected to the use of cookies on their device would need to specifically select to opt-out. However, the requirement now is that websites will need to explicitly obtain consent from consumers in order to use each type of cookie in operation.

The directive is already in force, but the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) announced that UK businesses would not be penalised for non-compliance until May 2012.

With just a few months to go until this begins to happen, IMRG’s partnership with Cookie Reports will provide information and access to resources to help members with the first stages of this and move towards a standardised auditing and web reporting method.

What is on offer for IMRG members
The initial ICO guidance outlined that: “the first action should be to audit your site, be aware of what’s really out there.” In line with this, IMRG members will be provided with a free summary report offering a review of the cookies currently in place on their site(s) (IMRG members can request a summary for each site, which will be provided at no charge).
Also as part of the free summary, members will be provided with a detailed breakdown of each website’s estate.  The research and auditing carried out by Cookie Reports to date has found that organisations have some 41% more sites than they were aware of – removing historic / out of date sites that are no longer in use, or perhaps just forgotten, can have an immediate cost benefit.

IMRG has also negotiated a significant discount for members wishing to either conduct full audits or put in place on-going monitoring services.
IMRG members can order directly @

Further information
Across a number of EU countries, governing authorities are looking for industry bodies to offer a sector-led solution to the new changes in legislation.
One that offers education for website visitors while also ensuring they are correctly informed, so they can make independent and appropriate decisions, probably offers the greatest benefit to all, both in the short and long term.
The retail sector relies on cookies for effective operation – but there is the need for industry to look at standards for reporting and how appropriate consent can be gained (be it within UK or pan-European operations). The key for businesses is to operate within the requirements of the law while also ensuring they are not at a competitive disadvantage, especially when pitted against online operations of businesses that either ignore legislative requirements, or could be considered at a commercial advantage with their local implementation of the law.

The ICO needs to see industry-wide action, not the simplest of legal requirements to fulfil, either for the retailer or for the policing body – but the proactive steps being taken by IMRG to ensure their members have a helping hand, and a sector-wide 'common solution' should offer comfort to the ICO that plans are being implemented and action is starting to take place.


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