Cookie management service
A 'cookie audit' for all councils was carried out in October 2012 and councils informed by email during w/c 22 October. If you have not received this email please contact email@example.com.
From May 2012, the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has moved up a gear in its enforcement of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011.
Better known as the 'Cookie Law', the amended regulations require website owners to obtain the consent of users prior to setting cookies on their browsers (including where cookies are set by third parties). Consent is not required for cookies 'strictly necessary' for the operation of the website (eg shopping basket functions), but there remains a lack of clarity about whether, for example, cookies used to collect web statistics fall foul of the new regulations.
Attempting to avoid the problem by removing cookies from websites is not a realistic option, since this will compromise their usefulness and usability, and frustrate other key objectives, like shifting more services online. The ICO clarified its guidance on 'implied consent' on 24 May 2012 and this suggests that consent can be inferred where a visitor continues to use a site where clear, prominent and detailed information is displayed about cookies being used.
As a website owner it is now clear that, in order to comply with the directive, you must:
- make sure that you are aware of all cookies on your site, who has set them, what they are for and how intrusive they are
- publish detailed information about these cookies, along with advice about how users can manage or delete them
- ensure that access to this information is displayed prominently to all site visitors, wherever their visit takes them on your site.
About our service
In partnership with Cookie Reports Ltd, Socitm Insight has developed a low cost, low impact service that enables you to fulfil these three requirements
This service is automated and now delivered online. It does three things:
- It carries out an audit of cookies on your site capturing their names, purpose, type, duration and degree of intrusiveness. 'Https' content (eg log-in pages) is also captured during the audit.
- It delivers this information in a clear format direct to a page on your website, along with standard introductory text for users that you can edit any time through a template.
- It provides an icon that sits in the bottom right-hand corner of the user's screen, highlighting the cookie information and offering a link. The icon is highly visible to users, but, unlike pop-up cookie solutions, does not impact the user experience.
Take a look at our implementation of the service on this website (also see red triangle at foot of screen)
Service users also get a plain English 'How to' guide about cookie management, describing options for informing the public about cookies on your site. This guide will be kept up to date as practice develops about implementation of the directive so that you can continue to keep on the right side of the legislation.
Making sure your 'cookie list' is correct
Council web teams vary greatly in terms of the technical expertise they are able to access. Some will be confident that they can detect all the cookies on their site(s) - a necessary condition of compliance - without outside help from a service like ours.
However, given that source code on every page has to be examined, there is plenty of scope for error, and our experience is that some well-known websites (public and private sector) have significantly underestimated instances of cookies on their websites.
What the service costs
By contracting direct with Cookie Reports Ltd on behalf of local public service website owners, Socitm has been able to secure a 'bulk-buy' discount of 38% on published commercial rates for this online service, and these discounts are reflected in our charges.
As always, Socitm Insight subscribers will pay less than others. Please contact us for additional discounts for multiple websites.
We believe that this service will save web teams time and money, ensure accuracy, and minimise time needed to keep up with developing practice about cookies and privacy more generally.
| Band 1 (under 2,500 pages)
| Band 2 (2,501 - 7,500 pages)
| Band 3 (7,501 - 20,000 pages)
|Optional extra: include all sub-domains of a site
| Band 1 (under 2,500 pages)
|Band 2 (2,501 - 7,500 pages)||£1,200||£1,800|
|Band 3 (7,501 - 20,000 pages)||£1,800||£2,700|
Discounts: sign up for two years and pay no set up fee (ie pay 2 x current 12 month renewal fee only) NB THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT DISCOUNT!
Our managed solution starts with an assessment of your web estate, audits sites for cookies and then automates the deployment of policy and consent management. Thereafter, we provide checking at the point of production and automated monitoring to facilitate live policy updates.
Our service is the only one to have been independently audited and validated by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (www.abc.org.uk).
If you have further questions about the service, please contact Terry Madgwick (Socitm) at