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Data privacy is a hot-button issue in today’s digital world. Cookies policies are an ePrivacy directive that requires companies to disclose how they utilize cookies on their websites. These documents may also require legal compliance in some regions, which means you should speak with internet lawyers to draft a well-written agreement.
There are several legal implications associated with a cookies policy. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know.
What is a Cookies Policy?
Cookies policies are legally binding documents that inform website or application users about how your company engages in data tracking and online privacy. A cookie is a digitally encrypted file that is stored on your devices and browsers that are read when you revisit a website. They help companies deliver a better web experience across all devices, mediums, and visits.
Common examples of cookies policy use include:
- Remembering items in a digital shopping cart
- Saving customer language preferences
- Using analytics to track internet market data
- Retargeting ads to social media visitors
- Offering CMS logins or blog commenting capabilities
- Installing tracking pixels from third-party services
Here is an article that goes deeper into Cookies.
Purpose of Cookies Policy
Why You Need A Cookies Policy
You need a cookies policy to let customers know how you use their data. It is a responsible business practice. However, some countries have taken proactive measures to ensure that companies comply with data privacy directives. Their requirements are strict, which means that you should familiarize yourself with the rules before engaging in eCommerce activities beforehand.
Consider the GDPR and CCPA compliance initiatives below.
The most significant requirement of the GDPR cookies policy includes the use of a cookies banner. You have likely noticed them on nearly every website you visit in recent years. Your cookies banner must feature certain elements to achieve compliance.
Cookies banners compliance requirements include:
- Requirement 1. Link to your cookies policy
- Requirement 2. Option to opt-in or opt-out
- Requirement 3. Acting in good faith to opt customers out
- Requirement 4. How you deploy cookies
- Requirement 5. How you handle third-party data sharing
The cookies banner must be conspicuously located and communicate a crystal clear message. You should not try to hide your cookies banner or make it ambiguous regarding what options the consumer has available. Companies can encourage the use of necessary cookies only by offering people this option as well.
The California Consumer Privacy Law (CCPA) protects website and application users from companies storing cookies on their devices without consent. These cookies often contain tracking scripts and collect identifiable information, also known as unique identifiers. Consumers in California have legal rights when it comes to their personal data.
Consumer rights under the CCPA include:
- Right to opt-out
- Right to be informed
- Right to disclosure
- Right to deletion
- Right to equal services and prices
California does not require that all companies comply with the CCPA. You must follow the guidelines if any of the following conditions are true:
- Condition 1. Gross revenue exceeding $25 million
- Condition 2. Sells to more than 50,000 households
- Condition 3. More than 50 percent of revenues come from selling data
There are differences between the CCPA and GDPR that are worth noting. Let’s take a closer look.
CCPA vs. GDPR
The CCPA approaches ePrivacy directives differently from the GDPR. The GDPR focuses on collecting consent before using the website, whereas the CCPA allows unrestrained collection so as long as consumers have a way to opt-out.
Another difference lies within the scope and depth. California sets limitations on cookies policies as described above, and the GDPR applies them uniformly to all businesses, regardless of their location. Be aware that you do not have to follow these rules if specific criteria are met.
Other State Regulation
As cookies laws and policies gain traction in places like Europe and California, it may take time to see other geographic locations and industries follow suit. Regardless of location, you must remain compliant when serving customers in regions with cookies policy legislation.
There are fines and penalties associated with a violation. For example, a single GDPR can result in fines exceeding $20 million per instance. Avoid making a costly mistake altogether by discussing cookies policy compliance with technology lawyers.
Image via Pexels by luis gomes
What’s Included in a Cookies Policy?
Cookies policies have similar components to other contracts. However, cookies policies contain additional provisions related to the use and storage of cookies on a consumer’s computer, cell phone, or web browser. Your internet lawyers will help you determine if your cookies policies are website-ready and for consumer use.
The elements of a legally compliant cookies policy include:
- Element 1. Cookies acknowledgment statement
- Element 2. Cookies disclosure statement
- Element 3. Intent for use statements
- Element 4. Instructions for disabling cookies
- Element 5. Company contact information
It is wise to draft consumer agreements, such as cookies policies, in simple terms. Complex contract language tends to confuse people, and they may not be able to find the information they need. Keep your cookies policies and other cookies-related documents as simple as possible to prevent potential misunderstandings.
Other Cookies Related Documents
A cookies policy is not the only document that you need to remain ethically and legally compliant online. You may want to work with technology lawyers to review your online presence, website, and backend to help you determine the other cookies-related documents you need.
Other cookies-related documents include:
- Terms of service
- Acceptable use policy
- SaaS agreements
- Licensing agreements
- Data processing agreements
If you need advice regarding what other cookies-related documents your company needs, speak with data privacy lawyers . They ensure that you avoid making legal mistakes with websites when it comes to consumer online privacy.
If you need legal advice regarding your cookies policies and other cookie-related documents, consider hiring technology lawyers to offer legal advice.
Writing a Cookies Policy
Online agreements, like Cookies Policies, are best left to experts that understand the way browsers, software, and online marketing works, as well as being familiar with global data privacy laws. Post a project on ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to get bids from vetted technology lawyers that can help.
Meet some of our Cookies Policy Lawyers
I run a small law firm in Pasadena, CA. I have been practicing for almost 10 years and the other attorneys at my firm each have 12+ years of experience. We focus on business and employment law, protecting and defending business owners. While my clients are all sizes, I particularly enjoy helping smaller companies and individuals manage their legal needs without the high price tag.
I have over 25 years' experience representing individual and company clients, large and small, in transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, private offerings of securities, commercial loans and commercial endeavors (supply contracts, manufacturing agreements, joint ventures, intellectual property licenses, etc.). My particular specialty is in complex and novel drafting.
I assist individuals and businesses across the state of Florida with contract drafting, contract interpretation, and issues that may arise because of contract terms, including demands (cease-and-desist letters) and litigation. I have experience with general service contracts, non-compete agreements, settlement agreements, and many other contracts. Please reach out if I can help you with a contract-related project!
Brianna is a well-respected attorney with a juris doctorate degree in law from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law School and bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from Dowling College. Since becoming an attorney, she has practiced in various areas including business law, real estate, employment law, estate planning, and more. Brianna has very broad and extensive business experience; She is an entrepreneur and co-owner of a manufacturing company that was built by her and her partner, where she also served as the Chief Legal Officer/General Counsel and Human Resource Manager for the company. She has been involved in business for over 15 years, thus she offers a very unique skillset to her clients; not only does she understand contractual principals and obligations from a legal perspective while drafting and negotiating agreements, but she also has the foresight and ability to ensure the agreement reflects the practical aspects of the business. Based on the client’s needs and desired outcome, she has the forethought to cover different angles that would be overlooked from a legal standpoint but be of consequence in business. She conducts risk assessments and minimizes client’s risk and exposure to potential liability. Additionally, she specializes in drafting and negotiating agreements. Negotiating is a passion of hers; in law school, she was a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society and won the intraschool negotiation competition. Brianna believes in quality over quantity. She treats every client as a top priority; thus she will not take on many cases at a time because she wants to give each client the focus and attention they deserve. She has sharp attention to detail and is a forceful advocate for every client.
Experienced attorney focusing on estate planning, probate administration, business formation and counseling, and consumer bankruptcy.
I focus my practice on startups and small to mid-size businesses, because they have unique needs that mid-size and large law firms aren't well-equipped to service. In addition to practicing law, I have started and run other businesses, and have an MBA in marketing from Indiana University. I combine my business experience with my legal expertise, to provide practical advice to my clients. I am licensed in Ohio and California, and I leverage the latest in technology to provide top quality legal services to a nationwide client-base. This enables me to serve my clients in a cost-effective manner that doesn't skimp on personal service.