Make sure you’re not taking the biscuit – ICO cracks down on cookie compliance

Alright, folks, gather round for a little chat about cookies – not the delicious, dunkable kind, but the kind that lurk in the depths of your website, gobbling up data faster than you can say "chocolate chip." The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is on the case, and they're not messing about when it comes to compliance with data protection laws, especially when it involves those sneaky advertising cookies. 

So, picture this: the ICO, like a detective with a magnifying glass, has been sniffing around some of the UK's biggest websites. They've sent out letters – not love letters, mind you, but warning letters – to 53 of the top dogs, letting them know they need to get their cookie act together or face the consequences.

And guess what? The response has been pretty positive. Out of those 53 websites, 38 have already whipped up some changes to their cookie banners to make sure they're playing by the rules. Another four are hot on their heels, promising to get compliant quicker than you can say "snickerdoodle."

But here's the deal: according to data protection laws, websites need to give users a fair choice when it comes to consenting to those pesky advertising cookies. If they don't, well, it's not going to be a tea party. The ICO means business, and they're not stopping at the top 100 websites – oh no. They've got their sights set on the next 100, and the 100 after that. It's like a game of cookie whack-a-mole!

To make their job a bit easier, the ICO's cooking up an artificial intelligence solution to help them sniff out websites with non-compliant cookie banners. They're even hosting a 'hackathon' to get the ball rolling on this clever bit of tech.

So, what's the moral of the story, you ask? Simple: don't wait until the cookie crumbles. If you've got a website, now's the time to make sure your cookie banners are up to scratch before the ICO comes knocking on your digital door.

With the ICO on the prowl, it's worth taking a moment to check if your website's cookie situation is above board. After all, it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to data protection laws.

For some handy tips on getting your cookies in order, check out our blog: That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

And if you want to dive deeper into the cookie jar of knowledge and the ICO’s continued investigation, here's another link for you: ICO warns organisations to proactively make advertising cookies compliant.

Remember, folks: when it comes to cookies, let's make sure we're playing by the rules and keeping our websites squeaky clean. After all, nobody wants to be the biscuit that crumbles under pressure! 

If you want to check that your cookie’s are compliant or need some help updating your website and implementing a subtle but stylish cookie banner, we’re still offering that chat over a packet of Marylands - please call Davinia Hamilton-Maddox on 0161 398 0741 or email