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Is a Cookie Policy Required?

Paige Harris Jun 9, 2022 8:00:00 AM

A cookie policy is the basis of compliance with many data privacy regulations globally. Although some legislation requires opt-out options for visitors and others end-user consent, almost all need websites to keep an up-to-date account of their cookies and trackers and avail this to end-users visiting their sites.

Furthermore, data privacy is one of the fastest developing fields of consumer awareness because end-users want honesty and control regarding how their personal information is handled when visiting websites. Consumers are also increasingly more likely to take their business elsewhere if you disrespect their data privacy. Get your terms of service policy generator free

What is a Cookie Policy?

This is an overview of the cookies your site is using. Your web visitors view the policy, and it contains what data your site is tracking. This report appears as a banner or pop-up the first time an internet user browses a site. It’s a declaration to web users about what cookies are active on a website, their purpose, and what happens to the private data collected. 

A cookie policy may also name the third-party receiver of personal data. Besides informing users, a cookie policy also allows users to opt out of optional cookies or adjust cookie settings. What are cookies used for in websites? Click here to read our latest article.

CTA Cookies Graphic - YellowShould I Add a Cookie Policy on My Site?

If you’re still not sure if you need a cookie policy on your site, there are many reasons you need one. For example, if your site or web visitors are based in the European Union, you must have a cookie privacy policy to gather confidential information.

To comply with the EU's General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) provision, you must ask consent from your web visitors to collect their private information, which can only happen if you inform them that your website uses cookies.

The same rule also applies to sites based in California or those targeting California residents. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) stipulates that Californian residents must have the right to opt-out of cookies and access a cookie policy page.

Occasionally, you might not need a cookie privacy policy. Still, you may need it if your site requires cookies to function correctly, for instance, when saving users’ passwords or undergoing other forms of authentication.

Vintageria - cookie banner-1 

What are the Requirements for Cookie Policies?

Now that you know whether a cookie policy is required, let’s discuss what it comprises. First, for a cookie policy to be valid, it must comply with the latest data privacy laws. Most data privacy laws across the globe state that web users must know what information they’re giving to websites and what policy they agree to.

Governments set specific requirements for data privacy laws. For instance, if you Google “cookie policy Canada law,” you’ll get recommendations on what it means to comply with data privacy laws in Canada.

To comply with such data privacy laws as per the European Union’s GDPR and California’s CCPA, here are some considerations your cookie policy must include:

  • What cookies does your website use, and why do you use those cookies?
  • What information are you tracking, and what is the purpose?
  • Where do you send the personal data you collect, and how can users opt out of cookies?

If your cookie policy page includes all three points, your website complies with the latest privacy laws. 

Final Thoughts

A cookie policy is a core requirement in most data privacy laws across the globe. Essentially, it’s a technical and legal list detailing all tracking technologies you use on your site. 

With the evolution of data privacy laws across the globe and the growing consumer demand for honesty and control of personal data processing, your site can’t afford to ignore the cookie policy. Additionally, your site’s cookie policy must be exhaustive and up-to-date. 

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