Goodbye to the ‘cookie monster’?

October 5, 2022

Most of us are pretty happy if somebody offers us a cookie – unless we’re online. Since the introduction of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) across the EU in May 2018, all website owners have been required to provide an opt-in to receive a user’s permission to use cookies. The opt-in is designed to give users a greater control over their data, allowing them to give their consent for that data collection. 

That’s all well and good… but this can involve boxes popping up every time we visit a new website and that can be, quite frankly, annoying! As Elon Musk once tweeted: “Yes, you can have my damn cookie!”

Cookies are small text files sent by the website being visited to the computer or device being used every time someone visits a new website – and, for most of us, that’s a lot. If accepted, these cookies are then stored on the web browser of your device. They store information about a visitor’s browsing habits and preferences. 

The majority of these cookies simply help a website to function efficiently and help to give visitors a more personalised journey; others though can be used by advertisers to track browsing habits. In many ways, it is not the cookies themselves which are the issue – but the constant clicking to give consent to their use. 

We all know how quickly we are tempted to click away from a website which asks too many questions – or slows down our browsing in any way - and it’s likely that many potential visitors will simply leave a site rather than click on a cookie consent. The bounce rate from many websites would certainly have increased after the cookie consent box was added in 2018. 

Times are changing in the UK though. We’re no longer in the EU, so the UK Government is considering ways to reform the UK’s data laws through its Data Reform Bill and this includes putting a stop to cookie consent pop-ups. The Government is proposing that users can opt out – rather than opting in. This new Bill is also proposing removing the requirement for small and medium-sized businesses to employ data-protection, as well as widening data access for public services and research.

All this can be done without reducing Britain's data-protection ‘gold standard’, the Government says, adding it could save businesses £1 billion over ten years and remove ‘box-ticking’ exercises.

If these changes happen and cookie consent can be removed from a website, then they will affect all UK businesses with a website and, at Target Ink, we are here to help. We are ready to support all our clients who are already on one of our service contracts to do this but we will also be able to help other businesses to remove these cookie consents as a one-off project. 

Please do get in touch on tel: 01892 800400 to find out more. 

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