In essence, cookie technology helps organizations collect profile and preference information that allows them to deliver the personalized and more targeted experiences that consumers are expecting today. More than 60 percent of tracking data today is powered by cookie technology. While there are other technologies that allow for data collection and tracking, cookies are an easy option that many technologies still leverage.
US and Canadian companies with a presence in the EU are liable to these laws. So firms that have a dedicated page for the UK, Italy, France, Germany, etc… are required to disclose cookie use, but just for these EU-targeted pages, not for their full website. The same goes for firms pushing mobile applications out to international app stores (like the Apple App Store, Google Play or the Windows Phone Marketplace).
This law came into effect on May 26, 2012 more than one year after it was originally announced. But even with a year to prepare, very few organizations have implemented a change on their sites.
So far, the ICO is not targeting individual sites for compliance, they are focused on ensuring that the top 50 high profile organizations like Google, Facebook, AOL and Apple UK are onboard and poised to set a good example. The ICO has the power to fine organizations up to £ 500,000 but is not enforcing this for most companies yet.
If you have a UK presence for either a website or app, it is a good idea to look at this issue now and see how to work toward compliance.