Over the last few years, the "European cookie law" has taken the online world by storm. Whether you know it or not, you have almost certainly seen the impacts of this law from both a consumer and corporate perspective. In this article, we will delve into the finer details of this law, discuss what it means for users and companies, and highlight the importance of website translation in remaining compliant with its stipulations.
What is the ePrivacy Directive?
- What are Cookies? Cookies are bits of data that websites send to users to track their browsing activity. This allows the website to access that data during current and future visits to remember what the user has done.
Implications for Users
The EU's ePrivacy Directive has led to widespread reform in online data protection practices. Websites must disclose when they are collecting cookies and other personal data, and they must also obtain active permission to do so.
This allows users to make informed choices about which companies have access to their personal data. If they do not want to be tracked or do not trust a particular company to use their data appropriately, they may refuse to provide consent. They are also free to decide that the benefits of using cookies (personalized ads, auto-filled sign-in fields, and other perks) are worth giving companies access to their data. The choice is up to them.
Implications for Companies
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Ensure Compliance with Translation
- Websites that operate in Canada must have privacy policies in both English and French (the country's two official languages) to comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). This is done to allow all citizens equal access to the information they need to make informed privacy decisions.
- Websites in the EU are not formally required to translate their privacy documentation, but the ePrivacy Directive does emphasize clarity and accessibility. Language barriers are a clear violation of the spirit of this law. While it is not reasonable to expect websites to offer privacy documentation in all languages, your website should include documents in all major languages spoken in your target regions. This demonstrates a reasonable effort to make the policy accessible to the vast majority of your audience.
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