Innovative Solutions: Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Cookie Compliance

Innovative Solutions: Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Cookie Compliance

Consumers want to know what companies are doing with their data, and this includes website and mobile app tracking technologies like cookies, pixels, and web beacons.

Website cookie and other tracking technology compliance is prevalent around the world, requiring companies to comply with a vast array of jurisdiction-specific laws and regulations. Failure to comply with these obligations can expose a company to legal risks and significant fines, damage the brand, and compromise customer trust. However, website cookies are a necessity for companies to enhance the user experience, personalize content, and monitor website performance. 

The collection and processing of user data through cookies and other tracking technologies have raised privacy and data protection concerns since they collect and store information about website browsing behaviors, preferences, and interactions with the website. Organizations may also share information stored in cookies with third parties for marketing purposes, to provide more personalized experiences, or to enable other features. 

The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) requires companies to implement only cookies that are strictly necessary for the basic function of the website and requires explicit consent for the use of other cookies or tracking technologies. On the other hand, the California Consumer Privacy Act  (CCPA) only requires companies to tell consumers that they use cookies. Because of these various jurisdictional requirements, companies need to manage tracking technologies to match the regions in which they operate, which can be complex. 

What is Cookie Compliance? 

Cookie compliance is the ability of a website to meet certain regulatory requirements outlined by privacy laws. Unlike overarching privacy and compliance operations — in which a company can often use global and centralized processes and policies — compliance for cookies and other tracking technology requires additional analysis and monitoring by website, cookie function, and jurisdiction. However, most regulations require a minimum of the following: 


Cookie Notices and Policies

Websites should display a cookie notice or banner that informs users about the use of cookies with a link to a detailed cookie policy.

Notices must include:

  • Types of cookies used.
  • Purpose of the cookies or other tracking technologies.
  • Duration of cookie storage.
  • Cookie or tracking technology preference management.
  • Third-party cookie information.

Consent and Preference Management

Based on the law, website visitors should have the ability to control and manage cookie and tracking technology preferences.

Preference options must include:

  • Options to accept or reject cookies and tracking technologies.
  • Ability to opt-in or opt-out.
  • Ability to change cookie settings at any time without the loss of service functionality. 

Third-Party Cookies

Websites often use third-party cookies to advertise or connect with social media platforms. 

With respect to third-party cookies, companies must:

  • Allow users to manage preferences.
  • Provide clear and transparent notice about the use of third-party cookies and data sharing.
  • Determine whether sharing is the sale of data.

Harnessing Technology for Cookie Compliance

Whether managing a single website or thousands, companies face the daunting task of evaluating tracking technologies and cookie functions. Built upon its experience assessing website and mobile app compliance, BDO has developed a platform that can help reduce human effort, cost, and overall scanning times in identifying non-compliant tracking technologies and cookies.

  • Identify available consent categories
  • Analyze cookies within each category
  • Detect non-compliant cookies based on location and jurisdiction
  • Deliver findings in a report
  • Conduct analysis as a one-off or on a recurring basis