What Is a Cookie Policy? Facts, FAQs, and Its Importance

In today’s digital age, data privacy is a contentious topic. The ePrivacy directive requires that businesses declare how they use cookies on their websites.

A cookie policy informs users when the site is using their data. It’s mandated by law in some countries, and there are many online generators to help you build one.

A cookies policy has several legal repercussions for users of the site. To find out everything you need to know, keep reading.

What Is a Cookie Policy?

What Is a Cookie Policy

A cookie policy is a document that outlines how a website or web browser uses cookies and similar technologies to collect and process information about its users.

A cookie and small text files are placed on a user’s device when they visit a page. They store information such as login credentials, browsing history, and preferences.

This information is then used to personalize and improve user experience on the page and for analytical and marketing purposes towards consumers and users.

Business owners must provide users with detailed information regarding the use of cookies and obtain their consent before placing them on users’ devices.

A proper cookie policy is important to ensure that an organization’s website or mobile app doesn’t raise internet privacy concerns.

How Does It Work?

This tracking technology is usually done through a cookie banner that appears when someone first visits the website to avail of its services.

The cookie policy should also inform visitors what types of cookies are used for the site, the cookie usage on third-party sites, and for how long the personal data will be stored.

It’s important to note that some countries have specific data privacy laws and regulations regarding the use of cookies and online privacy. A cookie policy is a vital part of compliance.

A perfect example is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It requires websites to obtain explicit consent from EU citizens before placing cookies on their devices.

Common examples of cookies policy use include:

  • Keeping track of the items in a virtual shopping cart
  • Preserving the linguistic choices of the customer
  • Monitoring internet market data with analytics
  • Retargeting visitors on social media
  • Providing access to CMS logins or blog commenting features
  • Putting in monitoring pixels from outside services

What Does a Cookie Policy Inform Users?

Cookie Policy Inform Users

A cookie policy document typically contains the following information:

  1. Explanation of How the Page Will Utilize the Cookie File – It should provide an overview of what cookies are, how long cookies stay on a user’s browser, and how they collect data.
  2. List of All the Cookies Used on the Website – The cookie policy should specify the types of cookies used on the website, including their names, purposes, and expiration dates.
  3. Information About Other Cookies – If the website uses third-party services, the policy should include information about them and how to opt-out.
  4. Information About Choices and Controls – The cookie policy should explain the options available to users to opt-in or opt-out of the use of cookies on the website.
  5. Data Storage and Security – The cookie policy should provide information about how the website stores online behavior collected through cookies.
  6. Contact Information – The cookie policy should include a way for users to contact the website owner with any questions or concerns about how cookies are used
  7. Legal Requirement – The cookie policy should state that the website complies with data privacy laws and regulations regarding the use of cookies and data collection.
  8. Update and Review – The cookie policy should be reviewed and updated regularly to contain up-to-date information and details about the use of personal data.

Overall, a cookie policy should be clear and easy to understand and provide users with the information they need to make an informed decision about using cookies on the website.

What’s the Purpose of a Cookie Policy?

Purpose of a Cookie Policy

Cookies and similar technologies can be used for a variety of purposes, such as:

  1. Personalizing the Users’ Browsers – Cookies can be used to store personal data such as login credentials and preferences, which can be used to improve the user’s web experience.
  2. Analytical and Performance Purposes – Website cookies can be used to track data, such as the number of visitors, the pages they visit, and how long they stay on the website.
  3. Marketing and Advertising – Cookies on websites can be used to track users’ data, and any business can use this data to display targeted ads to them.
  4. Security – Cookies can be used to track behavior related to website login sessions and any suspicious activity on the site.

The purpose of a cookie policy is to inform users about how a website can utilize cookies and similar technologies to collect information about them.

It also enables website and page owners to obtain the user’s consent to use these data privacy technologies before placing them on their devices to collect consumers’ personal details.To know more, check out our article Do I Need a Cookie Policy on My Website?

Why Do We Need a Cookie Policy?

 Need a Cookie Policy
Source: img.freepik.com

If you’re a business owner, you need a cookie policy for several reasons:

  1. Legal Requirement: Many countries and regions have up-to-date laws and regulations documenting the use of cookies and similar technologies.
  2. Transparency and User Control: A cookie policy provides users with information about all the cookies used on a website, their purposes, and how to manage and opt out of them.
  3. Building Trust With Users: A cookie policy demonstrates a website’s commitment to user privacy and data protection, which can help to build trust with users.
  4. Improving Website Performance and Experience: Cookies can be used to track website usage and behavior, providing insights for improving website performance.

Marketing and Advertising: Cookies can be used to track user behavior on the website and display targeted ads.

What Are the Different Global Data Privacy Laws?

Different Global Data Privacy Laws

There are several data privacy laws and regulations around the globe that cookie policies should follow.

These laws require the developers to add an opt-out option for users, even after they previously gave consent.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)


This regulation of the European Union (EU) applies to any organization that processes the personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where the organization is based.

The GDPR requires that organizations obtain explicit cookie consent from users before placing cookies and provide details about the types of cookies used and how data is stored.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)


The CCPA is an information privacy law from the state of California, USA.

It gives residents rights over their data, including the right to know what the business has collected and the right to reject cookies.

This law requires organizations to disclose how they collect, use, and share personal information, including cookies. Under this law, even a mobile app needs a cookie policy.

Cookie Policies vs. Privacy Policies: What’s the Difference?

Cookie Policies vs. Privacy Policies

Cookie and privacy policies are important documents that help website owners be transparent and compliant with laws and regulations.

However, there are some key differences between the two:

  1. Scope: A cookie policy deals with using cookies, their purposes, and how to manage them. A privacy policy, meanwhile, covers a wide range of topics related to personal data.
  2. Legal Requirements: Some laws, such as the GDPR, specifically require using a cookie policy. Other laws, such as the CCPA require both a privacy policy and a cookie policy.

In many cases, the information provided in a cookie policy is included as part of a privacy policy. Doing so makes it easy for the user to access all the info in one place.

If you want to know more, check out our Privacy Policy vs. Cookie Policy article.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Strictly necessary cookies may be loaded with or without the user’s consent and are not subject to privacy regulations.

What Happens if You Decline a Cookie Policy?

Cookie Policy

If a user declines a cookie policy, they do not consent for the first-party website to place cookies on their device.

As a result, the website may not be able to provide certain features or functionality.

Without cookies, a website may not be able to remember a user’s preferences or login information, which could make it difficult to navigate the site.

Some website features, such as shopping carts or personalized content, may require cookies to work properly. Without cookies, these features may not be available to them.

Some website functions, such as analytics or targeted advertising, may require cookies to work properly. Without cookies, the website may not be able to provide these features.

It’s important to note that some websites may not allow users to access it if they decline the cookie policy.

It’s also important to mention that some countries or regions have regulations requiring websites to ask for consent.

Steps on How to Write a Compliant Cookie Policy

Write a Compliant Cookie Policy

Similar elements are present in contracts as well as in a cookie policy. However, these also include how personal data is stored on a consumer’s computer, smartphone, or website.

Your attorneys can assist you in determining whether or not your cookie rules are consumer- and site-friendly.

The elements of a legally compliant cookies policy include:

  1. Acknowledgment statement for cookies
  2. Disclosure statement for cookies
  3. Statements of intention for use
  4. Guidelines for blocking cookies
  5. Contact details for the business

It’s advisable to write consumer contracts, like cookie policies, using simple language. People frequently become confused by terms and may be unable to locate the relevant sections.

To avoid confusion, keep your cookie policies and other cookies as straightforward as you can on your site for your users. You must also keep the service up-to-date.

There are tight guidelines for obtaining cookie consent, and it must be freely provided, explicitly required, and informed to be considered genuine.

Consent must involve clear-cut affirmative action, like checking a box or clicking a link. The individual must also completely comprehend what their consent entails.

It does not constitute consent to include information about cookies in a privacy statement that is difficult to discover, unclear, or rarely read in the link.Check out our Best Cookie Policy Generators article if you want to make a cookie policy.

What Are the Best Cookie Policy Examples in Business That You Can Use?

Best Cookie Policy Examples

Many cookie policy examples available online can serve as a guide when creating your policy. Here are a few examples of well-written cookie policies:


This example of a cookie policy is understandable and transparent. It explains the many kinds of cookies used on the BBC website, their functions, and how to control them.


Google’s cookie policy is an example of a comprehensive document that provides info about the cookies used on Google’s page, their purposes, and how to manage them.


This cookie statement is straightforward and to the point. It explains the several kinds of cookies used on the WordPress website, their functions, and how to control them.

If you want a cookie policy on your WordPress account, see our Best WordPress Cookie Consent Plugins list.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Got more frequently asked questions about your cookie policy? Here are our answers.

Do I Need a Cookie Policy if I Don’t Use Cookies?

Technically you don’t need a cookie policy if you don’t use cookies on your website.

However, it’s still a good practice to have a cookie policy in place, even if you don’t use cookies, as it can help to demonstrate transparency and compliance with laws and regulations.

Can Cookies Steal Passwords?

A person Using laptop

Cookies by themselves cannot steal passwords. They are typically used to remember user preferences, login information, and browsing history, but not passwords.

However, cookies can be used as part of an attack to steal passwords. If a website isn’t secured, a hacker could use a technique known as cross-site scripting to hijack the cookie.

Once the hacker has access to a cookie, they can use it to impersonate the user and gain access to their account if the website does not have proper security measures.

That’s why websites need to use proper security measures, such as encryption and input validation, to protect user data and prevent attacks like XSS.Users also have a role by being cautious of links from untrusted sources, not reusing passwords, and keeping their browsers updated with the latest security patches.


Woman Using her Laptop

In conclusion, a cookie policy is a statement that informs users about the use of cookies on a website and how their data is collected and used, whether or not a site uses cookies.

Website owners need to have a cookie policy in place to demonstrate transparency and help with regulatory compliance.

Creating a cookie policy involves determining the types of cookies used, how they are used, obtaining user consent, how to manage cookies, and keeping the policy up-to-date.