Cookies, FTC, and Privacy – Why You Should Care About Them

Cookies have attracted a lot of attention recently. I mean the trace type, not the edible type in Christmas patterns and colors.

ScanScout, an online advertiser, recently resolved a compliance action by the FTC regarding the language of its privacy policy (“PP”) on cookies. ScanScout’s PP stated that users can set their browsers to block the cookies they use to collect information about users in order to deliver targeted advertising to them. However, it turns out that the tracking cookies they were using were flash cookies that couldn’t be blocked as stated. The FTC found this to be misleading and enforcement action was initiated.

What does this mean for you or your business?

Use of cookies

Consider not using flash cookies if you are currently doing so or considering it. Many people consider flash cookies to be misleading and invasive. In fact, an introduction to flash cookies by the Electronic Privacy Information Center shows that the breadth of information collected by these cookies is likely beyond the comfort zone of today’s privacy-conscious consumers.

Have a privacy policy

Yes, it might be tempting to solve this problem simply without having a PP. After all, if you don’t have a PP, you can’t find that you’re violating it, right? Maybe, but you create other risks by deciding not to have a PP. First, consumers are increasingly skeptical about having anything to do with websites that don’t have privacy policies, so you may be losing business. Second, not having a PP will prevent you from using certain useful services (such as Google Analytics, which requires users to post a privacy policy) and running promotions or contests using many social media platforms.

Please refer to cookie practices in your Privacy Policy

Make sure you fully understand their cookie practices and those of any third parties (such as Google Analytics) that provide applications or tools that you use in your interface with users. Your PP must specify exactly which cookies are used, if they are persistent, if you use flash cookies, how you use the information obtained from cookies (for example, do you use information for targeted internal or external marketing), if you share the information collected with third parties and how users can block cookies (including providing a mechanism to block flash cookies, a key requirement of ScanScout’s consent decree). Finally, if you use third-party services that use cookies, consider referring to the cookie policy of the third-party service in your PP.

Finally, if you are going to make any changes to the privacy policy of your website, make sure that it is properly published to your customers, clients and / or users, ideally with a click mechanism where they must accept the new privacy policy before to access. Your place.

What do you think about the use of cookies for marketing?

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