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Cubik statement on the EU E-Privacy Directive

The EU issued the first version of its E-Privacy Directive in 2002 and since that time, further Directives have been issued to revise and update the initial requirements. The latest amendments to the E-Privacy Directive must be transposed by EU member states into national law by 25 May 2011. This information is relevant to all Cubik clients.

Background Information

The EU issued the first version of its E-Privacy Directive in 2002 and since that time, further Directives have been issued to revise and update the initial requirements.

The latest amendments to the E-Privacy Directive must be transposed by EU member states into national law by 25 May 2011.The area where these amendments have greatest impact for Cubik’s clients is in respect of the use of “cookies”.A cookie is:

“a piece of text stored on a user's computer by their web browser. A cookie can be used for authentication, storing site preferences, shopping cart contents, the identifier for a server-based session, or anything else that can be accomplished through storing text data”.

Source: Wikipedia (

Under the terms of the amended Directive, use of cookies will only be allowed if the user has given consent, having been provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purposes of the cookie.The UK government is concerned about the practical impact this will have on users and providers of Internet services and therefore wants to make this legal change in a way that will not require users to have to consent to every cookie placed on their computer.The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is leading the implementation of the new measures in the UK while the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) will be responsible for regulation.

Despite the fact that the Directive becomes law in May, there is still much confusion surrounding the way that users will need to be offered the choice to opt-in or opt-out of consenting to the use of cookies. The Government’s preference is to allow consent to the use of cookies to be given via browser settings.

In a Press Release issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office on 8th March 2011, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, stated:

“Businesses need to be working to address the way they use cookies.We recognise that work will not be complete by the implementation deadline. The government is clear that it will take time for meaningful solutions to be developed, evaluated and rolled out.

We recognise this could cause uncertainty for businesses and consumers. Therefore we do not expect the ICO to take enforcement action in the short term against businesses and organisations as they work out how to address their use of cookies”.

Action Required by Cubik Clients

In the absence of absolute guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office, it is not yet clear whether any technical changes will be required to the behaviour of Cubik websites.We will continue to monitor the situation and will issue a further statement when matters are clarified.

However, in readiness for the new legislation, we would advise our clients to ensure that their websites include “Terms of Use”, specifying the basis upon which website visitors are agreeing to use the website and that these Terms of Use make reference to a “Privacy Policy”, detailing your approach to the use of personal data.

The Terms of Use and Privacy Policy are “legal” documents and you should seek appropriate advice in order to create these.As part of your Privacy Policy, you should include a statement about how your website uses cookies and can use the following information for this purpose:

Applicable to all Cubik websites

This website uses cookies to help you in your interactions with the site. Most cookies are session cookies, lasting only for the duration of your visit and are deleted when you close your browser. No personally-identifiable data is collected.Examples of the sort of information that is collected via session cookies are provided below.This list is not exhaustive:

  • The last search term that you used within the site
  • Your preference in terms of accessible viewing options
  • A unique ID to track your session from page to page, which is vitally important should you sign into the site
  • Which page you are looking at within a multi-paged index of content, or search results.

Certain cookies are persistent, meaning that they last beyond your session, enabling an enhanced user-experience when you return to the site.Again, a non-exhaustive list of examples of the use of persistent cookies includes:

  • The option to “Remember my username” when signing-in to the site
  • The fact that you have voted in a poll, so that you are prevented from voting multiple times

Additional information if your site uses Google Analytics

This site uses Google Analytics ( to allow us to track how popular our site is and to record visitor trends over time. Google Analytics uses a cookie to help track which pages are accessed. The cookie contains no personally-identifiable information, but it does use your computer’s IP address to determine where in the world you are accessing the site from, and to track your page visits within the site.

Additional information if you embed third-party content within your site

From time to time, we may embed external content from third-party websites (e.g. Facebook, YouTube) within our website.These websites may utilise cookies and the Privacy Policy that will apply to such third-party content will be that published on the website of that third-party content provider.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss any matters raised in this document, please contact Cubik’s Head of Customer Service, Michael Scott:
Telephone:0113 250 7799