The Way The Cookie Crumbles

On 26th May 2012, the BBC reported that thousands of websites were breaking new legislations brought in by the EU to help consumers navigate the internet. You can see the article here. But, the introduction of this law and the requirements surrounding it have been difficult for many to understand, derided by others and just plain ignored many. Never the less, these legislations are now law and you should comply with them if you want to trade online. Even large corporations such as Microsoft have taken this seriously so you should too.

What is the new UK Cookie Law?

The new law was passed by the EU in 2011 and makes the use of cookies on your website illegal without first obtaining consent by the user. Cookies are little files that are stored on your browser and contain little bits of information that a website can retrieve the next time you visit the site. Because of their size, nothing too personal is stored on cookies and they are used all over the internet, from Facebook to Google. Every shopping cart on the internet uses a cookie of some description. Many people don’t believe that their websites use cookies at all but if you have Google Analytics or a Facebook ‘Like’ button installed on your site it is likely you are using cookies without even knowing.

Even though the law came in to force in 2011, the UK government gave a years grace period for companies to comply with the law before enforcement would start. That period is now over and EU companies should now obtain permission before any cookies are used by your website.

It is not all doom and gloom, however, as the commission responsibly for the policing of this policy has issued guidelines saying that UK companies can infer a consent from their visitors to use cookies as long as they clearly state that cookies are being used.

More Information

Oliver Emberton founded the website in order to protest the changes saying, In the below video he looks at what has happened 30 days after the changes came in to effect.

[youtube_sc url=loVjrNFJAik width=300]

How do we do it?

Some of you reading this will have come to this article through a little black bar at the top of our website. This black bar has a button in it that allows users to accept the use of cookies on our site and gives them a link to this page which tells them more about the situation. If you want to ignore the bar you can, and go on using the website as if nothing had happened.

Below are a list of all of the cookies we use on our site and what they do:

Cookie CategoryCookie NameCookie Description
Google_utmaA Google Analytics cookie, which keeps track of the number of times, a visitor has been to the site, when their first visit was, and when their last visit occurred.
_utmbA Google Analytics cookie, which creates a timestamp of the exact moment when a visitor enters a site.
_utmcA Google Analytics cookie, which creates a timestamp of the exact moment when a visitor leaves the site.
_utmvUsed for reporting in Google Analytics classifying the visitor.
_utmzA Google Analytics cookie which tracks where the visitor came from, what search engine was used, what link was clicked on, what keywords used, and where in the world the site was accessed from.
PREF, NIDThis cookie is set by Google Maps when you load a map of our location
WordPresswp-settings, wp-settings-time-This is a cookie is to verify if you are logged into the website or not.
wordpress_, wordpress_logged_inWordPress cookie for a logged in user.
comment_author, comment_author_email, comment_author_urlWhen you enter a comment on this site you will be asked to provide certain information about yourself including your name, email and website address.

What can we do for you?

Here at Mushroom Internet we have developed a system for our current crop of websites that allow us to add informed consent in the form of a banner at the top or bottom of your page, much like we have done. This is a very unobtrusive way of conveying the message to your customers and comply with the law. For more information about how we can apply this to your website,

Give us a call on the number below
01453 357 352