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Legislation that came into force on the 26th of May 2012 may affect you if your website uses Cookies.

Cookies are small text files that may be placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They may be used in order for the website to function or to provide information to the owners.

If you are using a standard Club-Sites website you need not take any action because Cookies are set only when you log-in and are "strictly necessary" to maintain the log-in. Our Cookie contains no personal information, just a reference number that our server can read when you change page. It is a 'Session Cookie' and will be removed when you close your browser. Club-Sites websites do not set cookies for visitors.

However, if you have built your own website, added Cookie setting HTML or JavaScript code to a Club-Sites website or are using another "Content Management" website, you should check if Cookies are being used and if so, depending on the type of Cookie, obtain visitor consent prior to setting them.

Check your website using the following Cookie Audit. There could be severe penalties for failure to comply. Further reading is available on the Information Commissioner's website and also website.

Cookie audit

  1. Check the Cookies that are in use on your website (In IE11 press F12, click the Network tab and then the green Capture triangle and go to a page on your website to get some network traffic. Click on the red Stop square. Click on DETAILS and then Cookies to view cookie information. In Chrome click on the cog or press F12 and select Tools and Developer tools and Resources where you'll see Cookies in the list.
  2. Make a note of the information stored in any Cookies.
  3. Identify the function of each Cookie (tracking or analytics for example).
  4. How intrusive are the Cookies? How much personally identifiable information do they store? Are they strictly necessary for the site to function?
  5. What type of Cookie are they (session or third party for example)?
  6. Make a note of the companies that set third party Cookies (Google Analytics for example).
  7. How long does each Cookie last?
  8. Remove any Cookies that are no-longer in needed on your website.
  9. Make the Cookie information available via a prominent link on your website.
  10. Obtain the visitor's consent prior to setting all but strictly necessary Cookies.

The Information Commissioner's own website just informs the visitor of cookies that it is setting and doesn't seek permission because in order to remember the visitor's preference, a cookie has to be set! Rather than installing annoying cookie checking scripts, I would suggest you do the same.