Test for compliance with the EU Cookie Law

Cookie law test screenshot

This test checks whether a website is in possible violation of the so-called Cookie Law (more formally, the “EU ePrivacy Law”) which came into effect from May 26th 2011. It also helps create a draft cookie policy for a website based on what is found.

This test also detects the use of many common cookie law solutions, and will highlight which pages are or are not using those solutions, where possible.

Why is it important?

From May 2011 a new privacy law came into effect across the EU. The law requires websites ask visitors for consent to use most web cookies. Nearly all websites use cookies, which are an extremely common technology for remembering anything about a visitor between webpages. Cookies are commonly used for login, remembering preferences, tracking visitors and more. The new law is intended to regulate the use of cookies to protect user’s privacy, although it has been widely criticised. More on the law.

How is it measured?

Sitebeam records all of the cookies it encounters as it explores your website, and detects cookies that could potentially be saved by other means. These are categorised wherever possible by the purpose that they serve.

The score is based on the number of pages using cookies, and the type of cookies being used. Cookies which are recognised and are known to cause issues are penalised more harshly than those which are known to be relatively harmless. Some cookies are ambiguous in nature and this is also reflected in the score.

What tools can this test detect?

This test works with any website, regardless of what solutions it uses. However, the following tools are specifically detected and highlighted when used: