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New internet privacy law goes live on May 25

Websites that track users via text files called “cookies” will have to gain “explicit consent” from the customers they are tracking from May 25 due to new European laws.

A new European e-Privacy directive will affect any business tracking users via their cookies online.

It’s believed website design will have to feature more pop-up menus which ask for a user to agree to allow data to be gathered. This data creates a profile of the user which then dictates what adverts are displayed to them online.

However, cookies that track what customers have put in their online shopping basket have been excluded by the new European e-Privacy directive.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is now drawing up guidelines for businesses to follow to comply with the new law, but exact details will not be available until May 25.

Enforcement and penalties for the new law are not expected in the short term as businesses are given a window to “address their use of cookies”.

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