So what is a cookie? Wikipedia definition:-
A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is usually a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browser while a user is browsing a website. When the user browses the same website in the future, the data stored in the cookie can be retrieved by the website to notify the website of the user's previous activity. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember the state of the website or activity the user had taken in the past. This can include clicking particular buttons, logging in, or a record of which pages were visited by the user even months or years ago. Source link
The circumstances where cookies could be used on your site are:-
- If you use any visitor tracking code such as Google Analytics
- If you use a shopping cart type payment tool in your site
- If you use social media widgets such as Facebook and Twitter embedded in your site
- If you allow your visitors to save properties for the next time they come to your site.
If you are using any of these items on your site we will need to put some code and messages on it.
Prior to sending the visitor the cookie they need to be told that the site is about to issue a cookie, for what reason and give them the option of accepting it or rejecting it.
Rejecting it can mean that they have to leave the site or that it won't work the way they expect it to, such as in shopping cart tools.
Please do not be alarmed by scare stories you may hear in the press that you at risk of a £500,000 fine. The ICO's position on this is that this sort of fine will be reserved for the biggest persistent abusers who have refused to rectify their sites. In the immediate short term they are more concerned with helping businesses comply than prosecuting.
We hope this explains the situation and puts your mind at ease. We will be in touch with you if we believe anything needs doing to your site and to give you the options.