Do your ‘cookies’ jar with new legislation

PR Media Release

Media Release:

87 % of Irish businesses unaware of October 6th GDPR deadline

With the October 6th deadline just days away for ‘cookie’ GDPR compliance – a survey* has revealed that 87 per cent of Irish businesses are not aware of the looming cut-off date.

In April this year, the Irish Data Protection Commission released updated guidance on cookie consent for Irish websites. Irish businesses were given six months to bring their sites in line with these new practices. According to Dave McEvoy of Sligo based web design company, Dmac Media, very little information is available for business owners and most Irish businesses are still in the dark. From October 6th, 2020 website owners could face financial penalties under the GDPR legislation for non-compliance. The digital company is urging Irish businesses to act now.

Dave McEvoy, Founder of Dmac Media said,

“Since GDPR measures were introduced in 2018, most website owners are aware that their website needed a “Cookie Message” but the vast majority of these messages are not in line with the new guidelines issued in April. The Irish Data Protection Commission are stepping up enforcement on October 6th however this change has largely gone under the radar. Irish businesses need clear information about the updates and they need support and guidance to implement them.”

Dave and his team surveyed a number of their clients to gauge the awareness of the ‘cookie’ notifications deadline. The survey revealed a distinct lack of understanding for businesses that will inadvertently find themselves in breach of the new guidelines come October 6th.

The survey comprised three simple questions:

  • Do you know what a website cookie is?
  • Have you heard about the October deadline with regard to cookies and consent?
  • Is your website currently compliant with Cookie regulations?

The survey revealed that 87 per cent of respondents are not aware of the cookie consent deadline, this was following information previously issued by the digital company to its clients. 72 per cent don’t know if their website is compliant and 13 per cent admitted that their website was not up to date.

15 per cent of respondents said they were fully compliant. However on investigation Dmac Media found that just 1 per cent were actually “compliant in a meaningful way’ with the legislation.

The survey did find that there was good understanding among Irish business owners of what a cookie is with 66 per cent able to define it and what it does. A cookie is a small text file on a device used to store information. By placing a cookie on a site it allows the website to have a memory of the users’ computer activity. If a user clicks not to accept cookies some features of the website may not be available to them. However, when they click to accept they may unwittingly be agreeing to share their information with a plethora of advertising platforms.

How to become compliant:

To become compliant a business needs to implement a cookie management solution. Websites should not set any cookies that require consent until after the user has given express permission. The website needs to allow the user to reject or accept the setting without promoting one option over the other and it must give the user the ability to manage their consent options. Website owners need to ensure that only those that have given consent have marketing, tracking or advertising cookies stored on their devices.

Dave goes on to say,

“The important thing for businesses to note is that they are not allowed to assume consent. Nor are they allowed to sway the visitor to a yes rather than a no, when seeking permission. A simple permissions update will solve the issue but companies need to be aware that the deadline is looming and act now or risk fines.”

For more information see www.dmacmedia.ie

Feature Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay