No, I don’t mean that cute fuzzy blue thing from Sesame Street – I mean who could really be scared of him (well I was but thats a whole other story!).


I’m actually referring to a piece of privacy legislation that was adopted by all EU member countries in May 2011 called The Cookie Law. It was brought in to protect peoples privacy online and means that all websites:

Let people know if they are using cookies

Explain what information is gathered by the cookies and how its used

Get a persons consent to the use of cookies

Now before you go all #Brexit on me and tell me this doesn’t apply any more due to the UK leaving the EU, actually it does – and could get worse in future.

Richard Beaumont of Optanon says

Although the basis of the law is an EU Directive, the rules in the UK (and every other EU country) have been written into local law. In the case of the UK these are the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). As long as RECR remains unchanged in the UK, the cookie consent rules will be in place”

(full article here

So if you are physically located in the EU and have a website it applies to you, along with any websites that target EU customers. Oh and of course you actually have to use cookies.

If you are using a WordPress site – then yes, you are using cookies.

The Cookie Law details two types of cookies (session ones that don’t need to comply) and persistent cookies (which do). The basic WordPress installation have only session cookies it is possible that your WordPress websites doesn’t need cookies, however once you start adding plugins, any kind of analytics program, affiliate links etc these are persistent cookies and you will need one.

While no-one in the UK has yet to be prosecuted under the law I would urge all small businesses to be safe rather than sorry.

I HIGHLY recommend The Cookie Consent plugin for WordPress – it’s free, easy to use and the latest version has lots of great new features.

Don’t be afraid of the Cookie Monster any more – embrace him!