You will have noticed  the growing number of websites with messages similar to

“By using this website  you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies view our cookie policy  X “.

Most websites are required under legal compliance to display a Privacy Statement

How do I know if my website needs to have a Privacy Statement?


If your site does any of the following: –
 Collects personal data (visitors filling in web forms, feedback forms, etc).
  • Uses cookies or web beacons.
  • Covertly collects personal data (IP addresses, e- mail addresses.)

Then you are legally obliged to have a privacy statement on your website?

How do I display my Privacy Statement?

On arrival at your website visitors must have an option to view your policy and this can be covered in a number of ways and depending on how you collect data and what it is used for then your Privacy Statement needs to ensure the website visitor can read how their data can be used, which gives them the option of continuing or not continuing to use your website based on this information.

An example of a privacy statement is shown as the bottom bar on this website  and states that the website uses cookies and permits the visitor to link through to this information.

The legal requirement:

Two distinct pieces of legislation apply: The Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003 (“The Acts”) and Statutory Instrument Number 336 of 2011 European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services)(Privacy and Electronic Communications) Regulations 2011 (“SI 336/2011”)
Section 2(1)(a) of the Acts requires that: –
“The data or, as the case may be, the information constituting the data shall have been obtained, and the data shall be processed fairly”.
This fair obtaining principle generally requires that a person whose data are processed is aware of at least the following:
  • The identity of the person processing the data.
  • The purpose or purposes for which the data are processed.
  • Any third party to whom the data may be disclosed.
  • The existence of a right of access and a right of rectification.

Failure to comply could result in prosecution / penalty of up to €100,000!

A contravention of the provisions of the Acts can result in investigation and enforcement action by the Data Protection Commissioner. If the Commissioner issues an enforcement notice requesting that you either place a Privacy Statement on your site, or cease processing data, failure to comply could result in prosecution with a possible penalty of up to €100,000 and/or deletion of any/all data collected via the website.
Additionally, section 7 of the Acts gives a person a right to take Civil Action against you if that person has been damaged by the manner in which you have processed his/her data.
Further information
Contact  for a free checkup and advise on your website and its compliance with “Privacy Statements”

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