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Like it or not, the forthcoming EU Cookie Law is not going to go away

The law comes into effect on May 12 and the industry has to be ready for it, so preparation needs to be undertaken as soon as possible, but it’s not as difficult as you may think.

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Like it or not, the forthcoming EU Cookie Law is not going to go away

The law comes into effect on May 12 and the industry has to be ready for it, so preparation needs to be undertaken as soon as possible, but it’s not as difficult as you may think.

There is no doubt that the complexity of complying with the legislation is leading to equal measures of concern and confusion among merchants. Thankfully this does not have to be the case because there is a first step that retailers can take – and they need to take if they are to avoid heavy fines and risk significant brand damage. 

Stephen Hickey, partnership director at Cookie Reports, says: “The big problem for retailers is that they do not know where to start and exactly what to do. There is no escaping the fact that the journey to compliance is a long one so retailers need to start doing something in order to get started on this road to complying.”

This is why Cookie Reports has created a 'First Response Pack' (FRP), which enables organisations to quickly meet a significant level of compliance – without the need to invest a large amount of time and resource. It could even be as little as one hour per website.

It is designed to be a simple solution that addresses the two key issues facing retailers. Firstly, there is the task of finding out exactly what websites they operate. This might sound a simple undertaking but many companies run numerous websites and tracking them down is significantly tougher than it appears.

Secondly, retailers need to find out what cookies they use on their various sites, which requires them to investigate their own systems as well as those of suppliers, which can include web agencies, content management providers, and other third-party vendors of web-related services. When done manually the accuracy of finding cookies is only 22% but with Cookie Reports 98-100% can be found.

The FRP tackles these major issues by taking retailers through three key stages: undertaking an automated audit; creating a pre-completed cookies policy; and providing an active icon for their site that gives customers great confidence.

It can deliver the first stage of compliance in only two days, which makes it a very cost effective solution for companies starting their compliance journeys. And it can be live within only a three to five day time-frame from the point of the order being confirmed.

“It addresses the first stage of cookies compliance, until there is a little more clarity on the exact legal requirements and what exactly is considered ‘consent’. Vitally important for retailers is that it does not impact the customer journey on their sites, and neither does it leave them exposed in the way the early tick box services have done,” says Hickey.

Ongoing site auditing alerts retailers to any changes to the laws of the Directive (as more clarity is hopefully given to retailers) and continually updates their privacy policy to ensure it stays up to date and meets the ongoing requirements of compliance.

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