Why are they advising you that they have cookies?
It’s because of GDPR – currently a law in Europe and only a matter of time before it hits Australia. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and became law in Europe in May 2018; it is an update to privacy laws that were out of touch. With the always connected world of today such as protecting the personal details submitted via a phone application and affording the individual the right to be forgotten.
I hear you say, “very fascinating – But what about cookies?”
These are not cookies made of flour and butter but are bits of code that web sites can leave on your computer for your next visit top that website.
The “Cookie” records things over time about you; relevant to that web site. I.e. a Sports News site you visit will record that you visited the football pages rather than the cricket pages. The webpage it self can then check the cookie when you visit the page, note the lack of cricket pages you visit and show you less cricket news and lead with the football stories. This leads the reader to feel an affinity with the site, so they will generate return traffic and therefore more advertising revenue for the web site.
What does this have to do with Data Protection Regulation?
As mentioned above, an aspect of GDPR is the individuals right to be forgotten. If you resign from a club or organisation, you want to be forgotten about and not bombarded with mail and leaflets from that club. In a similar manner, you may not wish to collect data agents from a website that track you, your preferences and the number of times you visit. You wish to exercise your right to be forgotten by the website and having a file on your PC reporting back to websites is not being forgotten.
As a result, in much the same way as shops will have a sign advising you that you are under camera surveillance while on the premises, web sites with a potential European audience are now letting you know that Cookies are in use via notices like to alert you that the web site is gathering data about you and that you have the option to quit the site if you do not wish for that to occur.
This is just one aspect of General Data Protection Rules that are in effect in the Internet connected world and they will be becoming law for web sites for Australian audiences before you realise.