Cookies 101

Do businesses need a cookie consent on your company website? Here's what you need to know.

By Karen Carlson

 As you surf the internet, you’ve likely seen a popup banner or been asked to “accept cookies.” What are cookies, and is it ok to accept them?

For businesses, do you need to have a cookie consent on your company website?

Cookies are a bit of code placed on your website to collect information. By accepting cookies, you’re allowing the website to add code to your website that collects data from your IP address.

MORE ABOUT COOKIES: Why You Should Address Data Privacy and User Consent Sooner, Rather Than Later 

Cookies have pros and cons. On the plus side, sites you visit often may remember your username, location, items in your shopping cart, and other information that makes the website experience a little bit more enjoyable. For businesses, cookies can provide valuable customer data for marketing purposes.

On the negative side, advertisers can track you, and you may see ads you don’t want. If you’re sharing personal information, that could be vulnerable to hackers.

The Cookie Policy is that pop-up banner or other piece of content on websites that informs visitors of what information is being collected, stored and used. 

The need for cookies stems from privacy regulations established in Europe, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), and the Australian Privacy Act (The Privacy Act 1988). Sites that do business in these areas should consider cookie policies.

Should my business website have a cookie policy?

Businesses are not required to have a cookie policy on their websites. But check with your legal team to make sure. Using a cookie policy can keep your company protected from legal action.

Business website owners must weigh the pros and cons and the risks and benefits of placing cookies and adding a cookie policy on their website. Of course, you must keep the website compliant with privacy standards. But on the other hand, user experience is key to keeping customers happy. Multiple pop-ups and acceptances could annoy users, especially new ones.

At LRS Web Solutions, we generally recommend that business websites include a Privacy Policy or Terms of Use to inform website visitors how the company handles privacy data. Privacy policies can include a section about cookies. Other businesses may prefer to create a separate cookie policy. To be on the safe side, check with your legal department to determine what is right for your company.

To help keep our clients compliant with data privacy, LRS partners with Monsido, a website accessibility company, which also helps businesses manage cookie consent. Learn more about our partnership with Monsdio.

Got questions about cookie policies? Contact us for more information.

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