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Need help with a Cookies Policy?
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 have been practicing law for 35 years. In addition to my law degree, I hold an MBA. I've created six companies, currently act as outside counsel to another 12, and have been an advisor to more than 500 startups and entrepreneurs.
I am a licensed and active Business Attorney, with over 20 years of diverse legal and business experience. I specialize in contract review, drafting, negotiations, ecommerce business transactions, breach of contract issues, contract dispute and arbitration. I am licensed to practice in New York and Connecticut. I am a FINRA and NCDS Arbitrator. My experience includes serving as General Counsel to small businesses. I negotiate, draft and review a wide array of commercial contracts; provide business strategy and employment advice and assist in the sale of businesses entities. I work extensively with various kinds of contracts. In reviewing agreements, I conduct risk analysis of contract and interpret the terms and conditions so that clients understand exactly what their obligations are under the agreement and are protected as much as the law requires. I am detailed and thorough in my review and drafting of agreements. Additionally, I advise clients on how to limit their liability and lower their contractual risk. I specialize in breach of contract issues and arbitration. I have been a Hearing Officer, presiding over cases and rendering written decisions; a Civil Court Arbitrator presiding over cases in contract law, commercial law, etc., a Judicial Clerk in Civil Court; a Vice President at an Investment Bank and an Attorney at top AML law firms.
Carlos Colón-Machargo is a fully bilingual (English-Spanish) attorney-at-law and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with over twenty years of experience. His major areas of practice include labor and employment law; business law; corporate, contract and tax law; and estate planning. He is currently admitted to practice law in Georgia, Florida, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and currently licensed as a CPA in Florida. He received a Master of Laws from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1997, where he concentrated in Labor and Employment Law (LL. M. in Labor and Employment Law) and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the Inter American University.
Graduate of Georgetown Law (J.D. and LL.M in Taxation) Injury Claims Adjuster before law school for top insurer Eight plus years of legal experience Past roles: Associate at premier boutique law firm in the DC metro area Policy Associate at a large academic and research institution Solo Practice Areas of Expertise: Contracts Business Formation Trusts and Estates Demand Letters Entertainment Transactions
As a business law attorney serving Coral Springs, Parkland, and Broward County, FL, Matthew has been recognized as “AV” rated, which is the highest rating an attorney can achieve through Martindale’s Peer Review system. Year after year Matthew is listed in the “Legal Leaders” publication as a top-rated attorney in South Florida in the areas of litigation, commercial litigation, and real estate. Matthew is also a graduate and instructor of the Kaufman Foundation’s FastTrac NewVenture Program, presented by the Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development.
John Benemerito is the Founder and Managing Partner of Benemerito Attorneys at Law. Admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey, John represents small business owners and startups in the areas of Business and Securities Law. John received his Bachelors Degree at John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he majored in Criminal Justice. Afterwards, he attended New York Law School where he focused his studies on Corporate and Securities Law. John comes from a family of entrepreneurs. From as far back as he can remember he was always involved in his family’s numerous businesses. At the age of fifteen, John entered into a new business venture with his father and managed to grow and maintain that business through high school, college and law school.John is currently a co founder in over five different businesses. After law school, John decided that he wanted to help people like himself. He opened his own law practice and began working primarily with small business owners until he was introduced into the startup world. Ever since that time, John has worked with hundreds of startups and thousands of entrepreneurs from all different backgrounds in helping them achieve their goals. Having been an entrepreneur his entire life, John understands what it takes to create and maintain a successful business. He enjoys sitting down and working with his clients in figuring out each of their unique challenges.
California-based small business attorney handling matters related to securities, mergers & acquisitions, corporate governance, and other business transactions.