The EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive requires us to provide an accessible statement concerning our use of 'cookies' - small text items placed on your computer by web sites when you visit them. In cases where they are intrusive, the EU requires explicit agreement from users that their data may be stored. This regulation is intended to protect individuals from abuse during and after their site visit. Much of the EU's concern is about individuals 'being tracked' and having organisations learn about their personal habits and patterns. Such information can theoretically be used - for example - to target advertising; or to present specific items at your next visit. Such information has a potential market value.
In general, our web site and any other Garden Organic web sites to which it connects, aim to intrude as little as possible on your privacy. We do not track your personal data for advertising purposes; nor do we sell it; nor do we actively store detailed information about your browsing. Such data as are collected are generally held at the global level of, for example, which browsers and operating systems are used. It's through the analysis of such data that we discovered a significant proportion of users visit our site using a mobile phone or tablet, such as an iPad. This helped us tailor our site design to our actual user base. Hardly a bad thing for us to want to do.
Government Digital Service (GDS)
The Government Digital Service - in unpacking the EU Regulations - classifies cookies into three kinds according to their level of intrusiveness and provides examples of each kind:
- Embedded third-party content and social media-plugins
- Advertising campaign optimisation
- Web analytics / metrics
Exempt from changes to privacy regulations
- Stop multiple form submissions
- Transaction specific
Source: Implementer Guide to Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations (PECRs) for public sector websites [GDS, Spring 2012]