Cookies are small text files that are used by websites to analyse their visitors’ internet behaviour. They are used extensively on retail e-commerce sites, as they enable targeted advertising, personalised web pages and most importantly enable the site to manage users’ shopping carts.
Prior to the EU Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications being introduced last month, all this techno wizardry went on in the background. Now retailers must tell the user that cookies are being used and give them the option to change their settings.
But it seems retailers are not rushing to comply with this new law. New analysis from KPMG has found that 80 percent of major UK organisations are still not compliant with the Directive. This is despite the fact that there are heavy fines of up to £500,000 for non-compliance.
There is a great deal of confusion around what is actually required to comply with the law. However, adopting a straightforward approach towards these requirements is the place to start; informing customers upfront when you are collecting and analysing information about them builds trust and confidence in your organisation as a whole. Retailers should therefore consider their situation and make sure their full web as well as mobile presence is in line with the law. The time to act is now, as there have been many complaints to regulators from customers unhappy about their rights not being respected.