Cookies are small text files that websites place on your device as you are browsing. They are processed and stored by your web browser. In and of themselves, cookies are harmless and serve crucial functions for websites.
However, cookies can store a wealth of data, enough to potentially identify you without your consent. Cookies are the primary tool that advertisers use to track your online activity so that they can target you with highly specific ads. Given the amount of data that cookies can contain, they can be considered personal data in certain circumstances and, therefore, subject to the GDPR.
To comply with the regulations governing cookies under the GDPR your website must:
- Receive users’ consent before you use any cookies except strictly necessary cookies.
- Provide accurate and specific information about the data each cookie tracks and its purpose in plain language before consent is received.
- Document and store consent received from users.
- Allow users to access your service even if they refuse to allow the use of certain cookies
- Make it as easy for users to withdraw their consent as it was for them to give their consent in the first place.