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ShopFactory and browser cookies

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ShopFactory can work entirely without cookies.This makes it easy to comply with the cookie laws which have recently become law in a number of European countries.

ShopFactory can work entirely without cookies

This makes it easy to comply with the cookie laws which have recently become law in a number of European countries.

However ShopFactory can use cookies for some functions, and if you make use of these, you may have to inform your customers to receive their consent. This is a legal requirement in Europe, for example. There could also be similar legislation set forth in other countries in the near future.

Cookie laws are nothing new

When you visit a website, a Cookie is a small piece of data which is sent from that website to your computer. It is stored on your computer and allows your browser and the website to remember some prior activity or the state of your visit including preferences, settings or form data you previously used when visiting that website.

European regulations stipulate since 2003 that website visitors must be informed about the use of cookies on a website. Since 2009 European regulations stipulate that website visitors have to provide their consent if you store cookies on their system.

Now the different governments in Europe are starting to enforce these regulations — and this has caused the whole discussion to flare up again.

Right now ShopFactory asks for direct consent from customers, if they want to store their shopping cart as a cookie on their computer, or if they want GlobeCharge to remember their checkout details.

When you create a new store, ShopFactory shops can remember the content of a shopping cart for several days, for example, so a customer can restore a shopping cart when returning a few days later.

To store the shopping cart as a cookie, the customer has to approve in a small pop up window the use of a cookie to store the shopping cart content. This has worked like this for many years now, to comply with the cookie regulations.

The same process is being used to remember personal data such as address details during the checkout process — again in full compliance with the cookie regulations. We are currently working on a new express checkout function, which will no longer need cookies at all to remember customer details.

In all these cases ShopFactory has been complying with the cookies law for many years now, without you having to do anything.

During a purchase the shopping cart is not stored in a cookie, but in a special browser function. While this function This may also fall under the cookie law, shopping carts have been specifically exempted from the cookie regulations as essential functionality — so ShopFactory is again fully compliant.

There are two other functions in ShopFactory shops, which use cookies: the affiliate partner tracking function which allows you to pay affiliate partners for sending customers to your site and advertising cost tracking, which allows you to compare the costs versus the income of an advertising action.

Both of these cookies fall under the cookie regulations.

However as these cookies only track basic information, the regulators in the United Kingdom for example have stated that implied consent is enough to conform with the cookie regulations. Since the actual European guidelines do not specify how consent must be acquired, the English guidelines are as good as any guidelines available at the moment — especially as many countries have simply not yet implemented the guidelines.

In fact the European regulators have even decided to take legal action against some countries, who have not yet implemented the regulations.

Going by the English example, the rules about cookies that have applied in Europe since 2003 still apply: You have to inform your customers.

The following text is an example you can use for the advertising and reseller tracking cookies:

Affiliate partner cookie: To renumerate our affiliate partners we may store a partner’s ID in a cookie on your computer. This cookie does not allow us to identify you.

Advertising cost tracking: To track the success of our advertising campaigns we may store an advertising ID in a cookie to ensure you are only counted once as a visitor. This cookie does not allow us to identify you.

By visiting our website with your browser settings set to accept cookies you agree that we can store these cookies on your system.

To be doubly sure, you could consider adding a “Cookie policy” page to your content and to link to it from Index 1 or 2. Alternatively you could add the cookie policy as a paragraph to your terms and conditions and link to it from one of the store wide HTML areas.

Either way — not even the European regulator properly complies with the new cookie law. But if you still don’t trust this, simply don’t use advertising cost tracking or the affiliate reseller functions.

In that case ShopFactory is fully compliant, without any doubts.

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