The regulations state that websites have to get permission before placing cookies on a visitors computer. Sound innocuous enough but the impact is very far reaching, mainly because of the fact that there are a huge number of players that rely on cookies to operate. Google analytics for example, ShareThis even the little outfits that create widgets which they offer for free but then pop a little cookie into the code so they can collect information and store it.
I got this information from one of my domain registrars, 123-Reg, and you can find out in more detail what they are talking about via this link to the European Union Cookie Regulations
There is a detailed explanation of the regs when they came into effect and links to various sites that can help you take appropriate action, well as far as they can ascertain it’s appropriate. The truth is even though the regulations have been in effect for nearly a year, not too many people actually know how to comply or what it will take to comply. This is mostly because of the technical difficulties of firstly letting visitors know there are cookies and secondly providing some means of opting in.
With a fine up to a maximum of £500,000 for failing to comply and a deadline rapidly approaching – 26th May 2012 it might be worth at least finding out what it’s all about.