Cookie Policy

Cookies Clauses in a Privacy Policy

If your business website or mobile app uses cookies, you should have either a Cookie Policy in place or cookies clauses included within your Privacy Policy agreement, depending on the nature of your business and whether your clientele is the UK or US-based.

If you’re including cookies clauses in your Privacy Policy, there are few clauses you’re going to want to include. We’ll cover these and include examples. This same information will be found in your Cookie Policy if you have one.

How Do Cookies Work?

The first time a visitor lands on your website, a cookie is downloaded onto their device.

On the user’s next visit to your site, the device recognizes that it has a cookie from the site. The user’s device then sends the information that the cookie contains back to the originating site.

Your website recognizes that the user is a return visitor, and then presents them with information that it considers to be relevant and helpful. For example, cookies can be used to remember useful information such as password and username information, saving the visitor the hassle of having to re-enter all their login information on every site visit.

Cookies can also be used to present custom adverts or announcements to site visitors based on their interests and searches they have made within your site or to enhance the overall site experience by storing certain custom settings, such as video streaming.

What is a Cookie Policy?

A Cookie Policy is a policy that your business uses to inform your site visitors that your website or mobile app uses cookies to capture information about them.

It is also important to explain that a user could disable cookies on their PC or device’s browser if they wanted to.

The law on cookies disclosure varies depending on where your company is based and the nationality of your target audience.

Cookies Disclosure Requirements in the EU

It should be noted that the EU Cookies Directive insists on disclosures of cookies use for any business located in the EU or any foreign business that interacts with EU citizens.

All EU businesses whose websites use cookies must have a Cookie Policy in place. Anyone visiting your site must be warned that you use cookies. You must also tell them what kind of cookies you use, for example, to remember passwords or the visitor’s location.

Importantly, you must also give your site visitors the opportunity to decline having cookies placed on their PC or mobile device.

One useful mechanism for alerting site visitors to the use of cookies on your site is to use pop-up boxes or banners. However, your site must also include a stand-alone Cookie Policy where your site’s use of cookies is set out in detail.

The ITV website displays the banner shown below as a header on every page. The visitor is repeatedly given the option to accept the site’s use of cookies by clicking the “continue” button, but before doing so, they are offered a link to the company’s Cookie Policy where detailed information is contained about the site’s use of cookies.

Cookies Disclosure Requirements in the US

Businesses that are based in the US and interact with EU clients are required to comply with EU cookies laws.

However, US-based companies that solely target other US businesses and clients are not required to comply with this law.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for enforcing data security and privacy regulations for US businesses. However, it is important to note that a site’s use of cookies can be covered under a section in their general Privacy Policy, rather than in a dedicated Cookie Policy.

Therefore, if you do not want to have a separate Cookie Policy, you can choose to cover cookies in your site’s Privacy Policy instead, perhaps dedicating a whole section exclusively to cookies.

In contrast, EU-based companies often mention cookies in both a Privacy Policy and a stand-alone Cookie Policy.

As you will see below, the EU-based ITV website offers visitors a link to their Privacy Policy section and another to its stand-alone Cookie Policy at the bottom of its website’s home page. Although both policies contain the same information regarding the site’s use of cookies, they are kept totally separate.

Functional, preference, tracking, and advertising cookies clauses

Users can see here that, for example, advertising cookies are used to help the site deliver advertisements based on web browsing activities.

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