In May 2011 a European Union law was passed stating that websites that leave non-essential cookies on visitors' devices have to alert the visitor and get acceptance from them.
This law applies to both individuals and businesses based in the EU regardless of the nationality of their website's visitors or the location of their web host
What are 'non-essential cookies'?
Non-essential cookies are basically those which aren't required for the website to function. For example, if cookies are needed for a customer to check out and buy products, that is considered an essential cookie.
Examples of non-essential cookies include (but aren't limited to) those from analytics, advertising and affiliate networks such as Google Analytics, Google Adsense, and all affiliate programs. The vast majority of websites drop a mix of non-essential and essential cookies.
A Word About… COOKIES
Cookies are small files which are stored on a user's computer. They are designed to hold a modest amount of data specific to a particular client and website, and can be accessed either by the web server or the client computer.
This allows the server to deliver a page tailored to a particular user, or the page itself can contain some script which is aware of the data in the cookie and so is able to carry information from one visit to the website (or related site) to the next.
Let's start by saying that by cookies, we do not mean the tasty treat shown here on the right.
Cookies are used across most websites on the internet for a variety of purposes; from remembering who you are, to tracking which pages are visited by users.
They are very restricted in both their content and their use. If cookies are disabled, you may find that features of websites that you use often will stop working, in some cases the entire website may not work.