Cookie Policy

Cookies are an essential component of a website. They improve the users’ experience, and they collect data about a user’s behavior on the site. This information can then provide better content, personalized ads, and more. All this may sound great, but it quickly becomes problematic under most data protection laws. 

In some jurisdictions, you’ll need to provide users with a means of opting out of cookie usage. In others, they need to opt in before you can load any non-essential cookies. And in most situations, you need proof of consent. Moreover, these laws require you to inform your users about what data you collect from them, how you use it, and what rights they have over their data. That’s why a cookie policy is a vital part of compliance. So let’s take a closer look at what cookie policies are, who needs to have one, and more.

What is a cookie policy?

In short, a cookie policy is a document containing a list of all the cookies used on a website, along with detailed information about each. It also helps users understand how their data is used, how long the cookies will remain on their device, and more.

A cookie policy isn’t the same as a privacy policy. Your privacy policy includes information about all the data you collect, process, store, or transfer. A cookie policy looks strictly at the cookies that track user data.

Many websites choose to include their cookie policy in their privacy policy. While that’s not wrong, it can be confusing and create problems down the line. For instance, cookie policies are explicitly required by the EU ePrivacy Directive and the GDPR, and while they can be integrated into your privacy policy, it’s safer to have an explicit, separate document you can point to.

A cookie policy is also not the same thing as a cookie banner, which you may have seen on websites as a popup that asks whether you agree to the use of cookies or not. However, these two go hand in hand. The cookie policy gives all the details about what cookies you use, why you use them, and how. The banner is how you collect consent and is often a feature of your consent management platform (CMP).

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