UK Privacy Law changes that affect businesses

The UK Government has introduced amendments to The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (PECR), following the EU directive (2009/136/EC) issued in 2009, which requires all EU member states to pass laws that require consent prior to using any cookies or similar technologies.

“Cookie” are small files downloaded on to a device when the user accesses certain websites. Cookies are then sent back to the originating website on each subsequent visit and allow the website to recognize the user’s device.

The amendments to PECR were introduced in the UK on 26 May 2011.

the UK stated that the new laws would not be enforced for 12 months, in order to allow website operators time to implement compliance strategies.

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued revised guidance on the change in rules. Though the guidance states that “implied” consent may be a legitimate method of compliance, if you operate a website targeting the UK or other EU countries, you must ensure that you fully understand the new laws and how to comply with them.

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