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Why are there so many website cookie notifications lately?

21 Nov
2018

You may have noticed your inbox filling up with privacy notices and pop-up windows on your favorite websites alerting you to cookies they are using. You’re not alone. We are all seeing it. The question is..  Why?

If you live in the United States, you may never have heard of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but it is something most businesses are taking note of for a very good reason. The GDPR is essentially a set of rules governing the collection and storage of all private information online for citizens of the European Union. It was passed in April of 2016, but it go into full enforcement until  May 25, 2018.

Anyone who has a business with a website or app, even those who don’t do business with European citizens (but especially those who do), should be aware of what the GDPR is and what it requires of them.

 

So, what is GDPR?

 

The General Data Protection Regulation is a rule passed by the European Union in 2016, setting new rules for how companies manage and share personal data. In theory, the GDPR only applies to EU citizens’ data, but the global nature of the internet means that nearly every online service is affected, and the regulation has already resulted in significant changes for US users as companies scramble to adapt

The GDPR considers personal information to be anything we knowingly share and a few things we don’t. So, name, email, phone number are all things we share on purpose when we make purchase through Amazon or sign up for an account with Uber. But, services also collect additional information the GDPR says should be controlled by the user including location information, the address of the internet service provider they use (IP address) and other hidden information we all transmit but sometimes don’t realize.

Most importantly, the GDPR gives companies a hard deadline: the new rules go into effect on May 25th, 2018 — so if you’re not following the rules by now, you’re in trouble. The result has been a mad dash to adapt current practices to the new rules and avoid one of those crushing fines.

How can my website or app comply with this new regulation?

Most U.S. companies have opted for, at minimum, new privacy guidelines and, for additional protection, disclosure of the fact that they collect certain personal information via the use of small pieces of software on their websites called “cookies.” The most common of these is information to use with analytics software to determine how many pages on your website have been visited, etc.

So talk to your webmaster or tech specialist to update your website and be in compliance with this new regulation. If you are a SDIM client, rest assured that we have already updated your website 😉

Paola Hernandez
author

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