What marketers need to know about Privacy and Cookies in 2021

If you spend a lot of your time scrolling and navigating a range of websites for business or pleasure you have undoubtedly come across the pop-up consent box on countless pages. Although sometimes inconvenient, this box marks an important change in legislation and compliance for companies globally. Since the start of 2021, companies are having to rethink their approach to customer data consent. Regardless of whether customers consent to data usage being stored with their identity (GDPR) or anonymously (PECR) it is worth taking the time to shine the spotlight on your approach to privacy and cookies.   

UK and EU Compliance

With Brexit finalised and the separation of the UK from Europe underway, there are some subtle but notable changes to privacy and cookie consent. Whilst complying to changes to GDPR regulations was a slight inconvenience, new ‘UK GDPR’ laws are fundamentally the same as it’s 2018 EU predecessor. Despite the new policies mirroring their EU counterparts closely there are some careful considerations worth noting:

  • If your business interacts, targets customers or has an establishment based within the EEA (European Economic Area) ‘EU GDPR’ applies but the way you interact with the authorities has changed.
  • Controllers and processors from outside of the UK, using UK customer targeting, offering goods or services will need to have careful consideration for UK GDPR.

Further guidance and reading can be found here to help you explore the necessary components of compliance.

Auditing your use of Cookies and Privacy Policies

Regular reviews of processes and systems are common places amongst the marketing community, therefore a frequent audit of your cookies and privacy policy is definitely time well spent.

  • Internal and external changes to your business can impact on the compliance of your onsite consent banner for your customers.
  • Ensuring that cookies ‘firing up’ when your visitors land are minimal and considered.
  • Changes are logged and able to be referenced as part of an ongoing timeline.
  • Consent should be stored as a legal document.
  • GPDR/PECR experts may be worth consulting to ensure how, where and which information should be stored by your business.

Automating end user consent through CMP

Although changes to cookies and privacy consent have changed our onsite approach to data collection, there are tools to help automate and streamline these processes. CMP (Consent Management Platform) are ways of ensuring that your company is compliant with data privacy and consent of users.Benefits of these systems are numerous with many being able to scan current onsite cookies, banner placement that doesn’t impact user experience, opt in or out forms, enabling different types of cookies and streamlined legal compliance. Consent managers, user experience teams and development teams may need to be collaborated with to maximise the impact of any CMP put in place. 

Changes to third party cookies on the horizon

Recent changes to cookies and data privacy isn’t likely to be the end of the data compliance reforms. Google announced that Chrome would soon follow the example of  Safari and Firefox by phasing out third party cookies by 2023. Just on the horizon, these looming changes are a soft reminder that cookies and data policy should carefully be considered. As marketers, companies and users of digital experiences, we should be considerate in protecting onsite visitors’ data, with regular reviews and compliance checks, which should help us navigate any changes to data regulations in the near future.

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