26th May 2011 saw alterations made to Regulation 6 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation 2003 (PECR) which focussed on electronic privacy and in particular the use of website cookies. This resulted in a new EU and UK law being passed. The following is the new addition to Regulation 6:
- A person shall not store or gain access to information stored in the terminal equipment of a subscriber or user unless the requirements of paragraph  are met.
- The requirements are that the subscriber or user of that terminal equipment
- Is provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purposes of the storage of, or access to, that information; and has given his or her consent.
In plain English, the law states those people whose websites set cookies must:
- Tell users what the cookies are.
- Explain what the cookies are doing.
- Obtain the user’s consent to store most (all cookies except one deemed ‘strictly necessary’ require the user’s permission to be used) cookies on their device.