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ICO Publishes Guidelines For Businesses Based On EU Browser Cookie Laws

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office has published a set of guidelines for businesses based on the new European Union browser cookie laws.

The ICO warned UK public and private sector businesses that from May 25th, they will be required to get the consent of users before they download and use their browser cookies.

Cookies are small text files stored in the web browser that contain user web browsing information and website preferences to offer a more personalised web browsing experience. However, cookies are also used by advertising firms and websites to track users’ web browsing activity and offer advertisements based on their preferences.

The new guidelines, according to the ICO, will help businesses in remaining compliant with the EU privacy laws.

The ICO has also made amendments to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations that will require businesses to give their users ‘clear and comprehensive information’ about the reason behind storing their data and how it will be used, The Guardian reports.

“The implementation of this new legislation is challenging and involves significant technological considerations. That's why we've already consulted a wide range of stakeholders,” Information commissioner Christopher Graham, said in a statement.

“But we want to spread the net as wide as we can and would welcome further comments from others who have practical examples to share. This advice is very much a work in progress and doesn't yet provide all of the answers,” he added.