About cookies and the right to online privacy
The last years have brought a series of major changes in the way the online environment works - a lot of these referring to the ways of marketing and performing traffic analysis for websites, or determining the behavior of visitors. Until not long ago, these things have happened implicitly, by default, without the user of the website (online store, blog, etc) to be informed about it or to be asked for acceptance. These operations are performed by storing or taking the data from the user’s computer (or any other device like tablet or smartphone) - with the help of some files of cookie type, within this context of intimacy rights and the rights to a private life, European authorities have initiated laws meant to assure the transparency of site owners towards the users of these sites.
Almost all websites on the Internet use files of cookies type - a frequently used technology, used for storing data about the behavior of users on websites; practically, this helps for logging in, remembering preferences, adding products to cart, or tracking visits. This also refers to targeting customers with ads that could interest them, to tools like Google Analytics, as well as social media plugins, (such as the Facebook like buttons). This type of data collection refers to the history of visits and the expressed preferences of the user. But, there are more categories of cookies, from which the first mentioned here are not involved in legal aspects:
- cookies that are a must have for the functionality of a website (used for registering, filling in forms, the shopping cart, etc); these ones don’t store confidential information
-cookies for improving performance - they measure traffic and performance and they are part of apps made specifically for this type of statistics or monitoring
-cookies for advertising/cookies of advertising providers
-security cookies, like the ones transmitted through HTTPS (like the ones used for the pages of finalizing an order). These are categorized as session cookies (that are kept until logging out or exiting the website) and persistent cookies (that are stored in the computer).
The right of users to privacy
The laws initiated by the European Commission in the year 2012 (as well as the more recent directives, from 2005, refer to data protection and the right to privacy on the Internet) have led to powerful reactions from the marketing industry and the world of online advertising, on national and international levels.These laws are focused on the Internet user, on one side improving its privacy and on the other side not allowing other companies or organizations to collect information about them without them being notified before this happens. For sure, the right of Romanians and Europeans to privacy is essential, but the negative sides of these changes can be felt drastically by online business owners and not only them.
How the implementation of these laws has succeeded, from a practical point of view? Practically it is necessary for every user to express its acceptance for surfing a website, by accepting the corresponding cookies. When the site is accessed, a pop up notifies the user that cookies are used and asks for acceptance. If the answer is affirmative, the user will not have to be notified again on other pages that are visited after. If the user doesn’t accept, the pop up will be shown again and again. At Silkweb, we are using cookies for our website’s functionality, as well as for the online store that we are developing. More than this, the way in which these are implemented, are installed or interact with the users and the customers of the site in such a way that an environment is created that encourages the growth of sales, as the shopping cart and the order completion are essential points of the customer’s journey.
The security of all the participants in this process is a value that we must focus on, as a matter of fact. Transparency also equally is a measure that we count on, in our relation with customers and collaborators. For a website functionality that is of the highest quality, as well as a web surfing experience that is as pleasant as possible, cookies have become in the last years an integral part, indispensable we could say, of e-commerce and the Internet in general. They are extremely useful, operating in ways that give new meanings to the concepts of personalization and interactivity. More than this, they can operate in ways that allows displaying ads that are more eloquent, based on the interests and the behavior of the users.
As a conclusion, these cookies ensure a greater efficiency in the selling process, facilitating the surfing and the searches of the visitor. At the same time, they do not influence the vulnerability of data and personal information, when antispyware programs and internet browsers that are up to date are used. The way in which they interact with the user can be configured through the preferences and particularisation functions, for each browser.
GDPR officer can be contacted for any details, complaint, inquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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