Globally, a cookie consent pop-up is considered best practice on the majority of websites. Unless your website is very small and only information-based, cookie consent pop-ups or banners can offer transparency around the way your website stores customer information.
Nearly all websites have cookies which are small pieces of data stored in your web browser. They were named after ‘fortune cookies’ which traditionally hold small pieces of paper with written, albeit unlikely, predictions of the future.
Are cookie consent pop-ups required by law in Australia?
If you need more convincing, the EU has two important laws regarding cookie consent: the ePrivacy Directive and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The ePrivacy Directive requires the consent of users for cookies that gather personal information and track user behaviours. The GDPR is data protection legislation with strict rules on how a website requests and obtains consent. Consent must be earned via clear and affirmative consent, so opt-out pop-ups aren’t allowed on EU sites. The EU is pretty serious when it comes to enforcing these laws, so failure to offer this to European audiences may result in your Australian site being blocked.
What happens if visitors don’t accept website cookies?
Make sure you have an ‘ignore’ or ‘decline’ option on your site. If visitors choose not to accept cookies, then their site experience may be a little more sluggish, certain elements may not load properly and they will have to manually input their details each time they log in. Some Australian website owners don’t allow visitors to access their site without accepting cookies. While this is required in the EU, it isn’t necessary for Australian based sites.
Can website cookies be bad for business?
That depends on who is offering the cookies. If the cookie is being offered by you, the site owner, then they are first-party cookies and while may be regarded as annoying, are understood to be harmless. Each time someone visits your site, their preferences or login details will be stored so they don’t have to remember a million different user names and passwords. In this sense, first-party cookies can actually offer some security. With details stored online behind a password-protected system, users aren’t keeping all of their login information written down in a separate file or worse, on a piece of paper near the computer.
It’s third-party cookies that are considered to be the ‘bad’ cookies These are tracking cookies used by advertising networks most likely found on major global shopping and news sites. These companies can use third-party cookies to find out your location, purchase or order history and search results so they can build a profile and target you with specific ads. Marketers love them, but search engines and their parent companies are removing them to improve online privacy. Safari and Firefox have already banned the use of third-party cookies, while Chrome has promised to phase out third-party cookies by the end of 2022.