Cookie Policy what happens if I say "No"?

14 October 2015
by Gavin Colborne

Our Challenge
A couple of days ago one of our large multi-national customers asked me an unusual question.
She is based in our customer’s Asian HQ office and deploying a new EU Cookie Policy component for the European websites.
Her German team when reviewing the new prototype, (which is a typical standard Cookie Policy message we all love so much 😉 asked:

“But what happens if my visitor does not accept the cookies?”
“Do we need to change all the code on all our pages to function differently and re-test the entire user experience?”

Personally all I ever do with those pesky cookie messages is try to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
Intrigued as to what might be the answer to this simple puzzle I set off on a mission to discover some answers…

So what is the best practice?
After a few discussions and some web surfing into the topic, it seems the following is the accepted approach:
1) Most sites simply say “We do not work properly without cookies enabled. You can switch off cookies in your browser settings.”
2) An authority on the Cookie Policy in the UK is and even they state on their website: “…otherwise, we’ll assume you’re OK to continue…”
3) You can even add a button to your cookie message such as below to turn off cookies for your visitor
4) Google analytics offers a browser plug-in for people who do not want to be tracked by it here

An example of best practice in action – the ICO website
The below are screenshots of the ICO website and their Cookie Policy treatment which I think does a good job of explaining and assisting a user who may not want to be tracked by Cookies.
In providing a button which turns the user’s cookies off for them, the ICO have gone just that extra step which I like.
It looks like their implementation is from CIVIC and you can read more about it here

I am far from being an expert on Cookie Policy so please do respond and let me know if you agree with the approach.
And remember if you want to do a Cookie Audit on your website your can use our own fantastic product LFi to tell you exactly what cookies are on which pages right across your website.
To find out more about how LFi can help with your digital presence read more here…
Thanks for reading and have a great day.

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