Internet Law

Small Businesses Websites: Do You Need a Cookie Policy for Your Website? What You Need to Know

By January 11, 2021 No Comments

You are small business, and as a small business owner, you rely in a multiplicity of websites for services that complement what you offer in your restaurant, dental practice, medical center, or real estate operation. When you go into websites, you notice that the businesses you rely on often ask you to allow or consent to “cookies.” You wonder yourself: do I need that in my business website?

We provide an answer below.

What are cookies?

Cookies are text files with small pieces of data — like a username and password — that are used to identify your computer as you use a computer network. Specific cookies known as HTTP cookies are used to identify specific users and improve your web browsing experience.

Data stored in a cookie is created by the server once you connect. This data is labeled with an ID unique to you and your computer. When the cookie is exchanged between your computer and the network server, the server reads the ID and knows what information to specifically serve to you.

Now, you may not yourself collect cookies directly, but some third-party applications or plugins may be doing it in your website (like Google analytics, or Facebook Pixel or payment applications like Stripe).

Do you need a cookie policy?

It depends. The United States does not have a general cookie consent law, so there is no legal requirement to ask visitors to accept cookies.

Some states like California have a cookie policy but it only applies to businesses that has gross revenue of 25 million dollars a year or have more than 50,000 yearly visitors who are California residents or make half of its business from selling consumer data.

The European Union has a cookie consent policy for every business. So, if your business is active in Europe or if a lot of your clients are European, you may need a cookie policy.

For more information about small businesses’ compliance with internet law call us at 305-570-2208 or email attorney Eduardo A. Maura at eduardo@ayalalawpa.com

 

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