Understanding Cookie Banner Requirements for UK Businesses: A Comprehensive Guide

By April 22, 2024 News No Comments
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In today’s digital age, almost every website you visit prompts you with a cookie banner. But what exactly does this mean for UK businesses? Let’s delve into the requirements and best practices for cookie banners, ensuring that your website complies with UK regulations while providing a seamless user experience.

What are Cookies?

Cookies are small text files that websites store on a user’s device. They are used to remember the user’s device on future visits and track their online activity. This data can be invaluable for businesses in enhancing site functionality, personalizing user experiences, and conducting targeted advertising.

Legal Framework in the UK

In the UK, the use of cookies is primarily regulated by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Together, these regulations mandate transparency and consent concerning the use of cookies.

Pre-ticked boxes or implied consent (such as stating “by continuing to use this website, you agree to our use of cookies”) are no longer compliant

Key Requirements for Cookie Banners

  1. Transparency: Your cookie banner must clearly inform users that cookies are being used, what types of cookies are set, and why they are necessary. This information should be easily accessible, typically through a linked privacy or cookie policy.
  2. Consent: Consent must be freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous. This means showing a cookie banner that allows users to actively opt-in or opt-out of non-essential cookies. Pre-ticked boxes or implied consent (such as stating “by continuing to use this website, you agree to our use of cookies”) are no longer compliant.
  3. Granular Control: Users should be able to accept or reject different types of cookies individually. Offering granular choices respects user preferences and aligns with the GDPR’s requirements for specific consent.
  4. Easy to Withdraw Consent: Just as it should be easy for users to give consent, it should also be straightforward for them to withdraw their consent. This functionality should be accessible and simple to execute, without disadvantaging the user.
  5. Record Keeping: Businesses must keep records of consents as proof of compliance. This includes who consented, when they consented, what they were told at the time of consent, and how they consented.

Implementing an Effective Cookie Banner

  1. Design and Accessibility: Ensure your cookie banner is clearly visible and does not blend into the website’s design. It should be accessible to all users, including those with disabilities, complying with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
  2. User-friendly Language: Use clear, straightforward language to explain your cookie usage. Avoid legal jargon to ensure all users, regardless of their expertise level, can understand their choices.
  3. Testing and Feedback: Regularly test your cookie banner’s effectiveness and gather user feedback. This can help you refine the user experience and ensure compliance.
  4. Stay Updated: Cookie regulations can evolve, so it’s crucial to stay informed about any changes in the law or guidance from relevant authorities like the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).


For UK businesses, navigating the complexities of cookie consent doesn’t just help avoid legal pitfalls; it also builds trust with your users. By implementing a compliant, clear, and user-friendly cookie banner, you demonstrate your commitment to privacy and user rights. Remember, a respectful approach to user data is a cornerstone of modern web ethics and a practice that can set your business apart in the digital marketplace.

Implementing these guidelines will help ensure that your website not only complies with UK regulations but also offers a transparent and respectful user experience.

Get in touch today to find out what options are available for you and how we can help you get your website cookie banner compliant:

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