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EU Cookie Directive - How to test your site for cookies


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Monday, 23rd April 2012

Is your web site using cookies? Here's our useful guide to determine whether or not the EU Cookie Directive is something you should look into and how detect if your site is using Cookies.

What is the EU Cookie Directive?

Well in short, it's a new law that will be coming into force on the 26th May 2012. You can read it in more detail from the government's Information Commissioner's Office (please see the link at the end of the article). If your site uses cookies and you haven't given the user the option to 'opt-in' and explain what the cookie does, then you may be breaking the law and could be subject to a fine. Whether you will be deemed as breeching the directive is where it all goes grey.

Is my site using Cookies?

The best way to check is to use your browser to report whether or not your site is using cookies. To start with, open your web site in your browser and have a good navigate around. This should give it a chance to write any cookies. Now, depending on your browser you can quickly check!

Internet Explorer:

  1. Tools > Internet Options 
  2. Under "Browsing History", click Settings
  3. Click View Objects or View Files

Safari

v 5.1 and later

  1. Safari > Preferences > Privacy > Click details
  2. Use the filter / search field, type in your sites URL and you should see an entry if your site has used cookies

v 5 and earlier

As above but the cookies are stored under the 'security' tab

Google Chrome

  1. Click the wrench icon tools menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click the Under the Hood tab.
  4. Click Content settings in the Privacy section.
  5. Click the All Cookies and Site Data tab.
  6. Use the filter / search field, type in your sites URL you should see an entry if your site has used cookies

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Firefox > Preferences > Privacy
  2. Change the drop down from Remember History to Use Custom Settings for history
  3. Click the Show Cookies button
  4. Use the filter / search field, type in your sites URL you should see an entry if your site has used cookies

Hmmm, my site IS using cookies! What should I do now?

We'd recommend that you get in touch with your web developer who'll give you some advice as to whether or not you have anything to worry about. For now we are recommending that you play it cautiously and do as the Commission asks, which is to allow the user to "Opt In".

Information Commissioner's Office


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