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From May 2012 the EU Cookie Directive comes in to force in the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) was appointed to enforce the changes.

According to the ICO, the directive demands that: “a person shall not store or gain access to information stored, in the terminal equipment of a subscriber or user unless the requirements of paragraph (2) are met. (2) The requirements are that the subscriber or user of that terminal equipment-

(a) is provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purposes of the storage of, or access to, that information; and (b) has given his or her consent. Regulation 6 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR)”

This means that those setting cookies must tell people that the cookies are there, explain what the cookies are doing and obtain their consent to store a cookie on their device.

So what is a cookie?

Cookies are small text files, stored by a user’s browser, which enable personalised web pages, manage user’s shopping carts and login areas, and sometimes enable targeted advertising.

The ICO  has issued a set of guidelines that give a general explanation of the changes, describing the different types of cookie and how the legislation affects each.

The first category of cookies defined as necessary to the operation of the website are covered but not affected by the new legislation, as long as the website explains what the cookies are and why they are there.  eg to record that a user is logged into a site or not

The second category of cookies are performance cookies, these collect information of a users experience and the performance of a website. eg website analytics (i.e. Google Analytics) and ad-response rates (where data is collected exclusively for calculating click-through rates). They don’t collect information that can identify a particular visitor. These cookies are usually persistent and have fairly long expiry dates.

The third category of cookies are referred to as Functionality cookies. These remember the choices that users make within a web page, such as usernames, language or region to provide an enhanced, more personalised web experience. They cannot track your activity on other websites and are anonymous.

The fourth and final type of cookies is the main target of the legislation. Targeting or advertising cookies collect information about your browsing habits to tailor third-party advertising to meet your interests. They are usually placed by advertisers with the website operator’s permission.

How does this site comply?

This site consists mainly of the first three categories, there are cookies to track the performance of the site and your user performance, none identify you as an individual.  They are there to help us improve your future user experience on the site and mostly expire when the browser window is closed.  The other type relates to keeping you logged into the site when registering as a member or when purchasing products in the shopping cart.

The comments section of the site has been hidden although social media links are still visible and these may place a targeting cookie on you machine.

Please do not use this site if you are not happy for these cookies to exist or disable the cookies in your browser.

Got a question? contact us