Cookie Consent Examples
Cookies are tiny text files that get downloaded onto your website visitor's device (i.e. laptop or smartphone) when they visit your site. These files allow your website to recognize the user's device and store details about their preferences.
For example, cookies can:
- Save user login details
- Measure how often a user visits your website and which pages they visit
- Target relevant advertising to your visitors
In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. This legislation protects the rights of EU citizens to maintain control of their personal data.
User consent can come in many forms, such as replying to an email or clicking an opt-in button on a website.
Examples of Cookie Consent
Let's run through a few examples of how and where you can display your cookies consent notice on your website.
Remember, obtaining a user's consent through an affirmative action that indicates acceptance is key to a compliant cookie consent notice.
Perhaps the most common location for cookies consent requests is in a fixed footer of a website. This footer notification would show up for a visitor the first time he visits your website. While this puts your notice in a prominent position, it isn't obtrusive to the actual content of the website.
As a user scrolls down, the box stays in place, prompting the user to take action to remove it. The box states that the cookies are used on the Guardian's site to improve site experience and to show relevant advertising to the user.
In this example, a user must click 'OK' or 'More information' to remove the box. By selecting 'More information' the user is taken to a separate page which offers them the opportunity to manage the cookies used and the advertising they see when using The Guardian's website:
eBay UK's mobile website also shows its cookies consent notice in the footer of the mobile homepage. Users can tap 'Accept' to show consent:
Another common location to see cookie consent notices is in the header of a website. This is immediately visible to any visitors to your site.
As an example, the BBC has its cookie information contained within a thin bar at the top of its website:
Clicking 'Yes, I agree' removes the notification. This is the explicit consent required by legislation. However, if a user clicks 'No, take me to settings', they are taken to a page which provides them with a list of cookie preferences that they can adjust:
Each section outlines what the purpose and function of each type of cookies is so that users can make informed decisions.
As well as providing a wealth of information on the different type of cookies used on their website, the BBC also provides a link to their full Privacy and Cookies policy at the bottom of the page.
Facebook's mobile website takes a similar approach and provides its cookies consent notice at the top of the website:
Culinary website The Kitchn places its cookie consent notice at the bottom of its website and includes a link to its legal agreement information:
The text in the notice indicates clearly that cookies are used to keep the sites reliable and secure, as well as for the purposes of advertising and personalizing content.
As in the previous examples, the Financial Times provides a link to its Cookies Policy and an option for users to manage their cookie preferences by clicking 'Manage cookies' from within the notice box:
Otherwise, users can click 'Accept & continue' and continue to navigate around the website.
The examples you've seen so far have demonstrated cookies consent notices embedded in the header or footer of websites. However, some websites go one step further and prevent users from interacting with the website until they have indicated their consent preferences.
One example of this is investment website The Motley Fool. Upon entering the website, a user is greeted with the below pop-up covering the entire screen:
If the user has any questions or would like to modify their preferences, they are provided with an email address to contact. In addition, a link is provided to the Privacy and Cookie Statement where additional details are provided about how the website collects and handles personal data.
In this example, the user has no option but to make a choice about how their personal data is used. This means there can be no ambiguity or uncertainty for the user, and The Motley Fool is making sure to obtain affirmative consent.
Some websites deem a user has consented if they continue to interact with the website. Amazon is a good example of this, as shown below:
Text of Your Cookie Consent Notice
The text of your cookie consent notice should do the following:
- Inform your users that your website does store cookies
- Include brief details of why your website stores cookies (improving the user experience, tailoring advertising, etc.)
- Let users know what they're agreeing to or accepting by taking some action
If you use a checkbox to request consent, make sure it isn't pre-ticked
You have a number of options for how and where to display your cookie consent notice on your website. However, you need to make sure that it's displayed in a prominent way.
Make sure your notice informs users what you're using cookies for and what they're consenting to.
Provide a link to your Cookies Policy and to any Settings pages you offer so that users can access these resources right away.