Needless to say, cookies, newsletters and online advertising all play a vital part in today's digital economy: no online business is going to succeed without using at least one of these as part of their marketing strategy. 

But companies need to know the laws that apply when customers interact with their website and the potential sanctions for failure to comply.

Recently, I gave a webinar that gave insights and offered practical considerations to mitigate the many risks associated with such activities under the EU's e-privacy directive and general data protection regulation (GDPR), as well as its upcoming e-privacy regulation. 

The webinar also discussed how and to what extent non-EU-based organisations are subject to these rules.

The webinar considered a range of issues. Here are a few highlights.

1. Every website needs a privacy policy, even websites for small businesses or personal blogs. But what makes a good privacy policy? What must you include in the wording so that it complies with GDPR?

2. Cookies are often seen as the trickiest part of making your website compliant with privacy and data protection regulations. They are quietly dropped on the user’s computer without the user (or sometimes even the website owner) being aware of what is going on. Market inquiries conducted by data protection authorities on cookie use have revealed that almost no website had been compliant in this regard. Which cookies do not require prior consent by the website user? If consent is needed for certain cookies, how can the European Court of Justice’s requirements be fulfilled when asking for such consent?

3. A newsletter is a cost-effective way to build and maintain a relationship with your customers. But it can also end up costing you if you are not meeting your legal obligations. How do you get users to sign up for newsletters in a way that complies with the law? Which types of newsletter do not require a recipient’s prior consent?

4. Online behavioural advertising aims to create advertisements tailored to the individual user. But what data protection and e-privacy rules apply when creating them?

View the webinar via the Lexology website (sign-up/log-in required).