The Guideline, aimed at ensuring compliance with the law by website operators when using cookies, only covers cookies used for the processing of personal data. In addition to websites, the guideline applies to similar online applications connected to networks.
Definitions and types of cookies
In the directive, a cookie is defined as “a type of text file placed on the user’s device by the operators of the website and transferred as part of the HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) request”. Another definition provided by the Guideline is as follows: “cookies are small rich text formats, which allow certain information about users to be stored on terminals when a web page is visited”.
The Directive explains the types of cookies according to three main characteristics: (i) the duration of the cookies; (ii) purpose of cookies; and (iii) portions of cookies. Depending on their duration, cookies are classified into session cookies and persistent cookies. As to their purpose, cookies are categorized as strictly necessary, functional, performance analytics and advertising/marketing cookies. According to their parts, cookies are divided into two categories as first-party and third-party cookies, depending on whether the cookie is placed by the website or domain visited by the user.
Relationship between the ECA and the law
In accordance with the guideline, the law will be applicable to information society services because, unlike the European directive 2002/58/EC, this subject is not regulated by the LCE. In this context, the decision of February 27, 2020 numbered 2020/173 is highlighted. In addition, it is stated that the ECL may be partially applicable to Data Controller operators.
In the guideline, the Authority aims to guide website operators and those who process personal data through cookies to bring cookie practices into compliance with the law. Interested stakeholders can consult this important guideline and submit their opinions and suggestions to the Authority until February 10, 2022.
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