The United States, however, has a more complex and mosaic approach to privacy. This means that there is no definitive federal basis for how cookie policies are displayed or used on a website used by U.S. citizens. So, what do website owners need to know about displaying cookie policies to visitors?
It's a "World Wide Web" for cookie policies
How cookie policies impact the end-user and the website owner
Typical interactions with cookie consent involve clicking to agree to consent to some or all the cookies used by a website. A 2019 study of website visitors' view of cookie consent showed that 40% of users agreed to "only consent to mandatory cookies". Only 12% of visitors agreed to allow the use of all types of cookies (this would include behavior cookies).
Cookie policies and the privacy debate
Cookies are used to provide a smooth user experience on a given website. For example, cookies ensure that shopping carts are updated and make logging into a website easier. But cookies are also contentious. Cookies have the power to track a user across the web. They can also store personal data, including behavioral information. It is for this reason that the EU's GDPR and the CCPA have defined cookies as being unique identifiers.
Currently, the USA has no federal privacy law. However, individual states, California being at the vanguard, are legislating for privacy. Website owners should keep a watchful eye on the changing landscape of privacy legislation across the USA.
Keep up with changes in privacy laws in the USA using the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) U.S. Privacy legislation Tracker, which keeps up-to-date details on a state-by-state basis.
Further complications in privacy that may impact cookie policies
On June 4, 2021, the European Commission determined that standard contractual clauses (SCCs), specifically designed to provide adequate safeguards for the transfer of personal data, would replace the Privacy Shield. Companies that transfer data from the U.S. to the EU via cookies should look at the impact of the new ruling.
- Violate data privacy rights by collecting, processing, or sharing personal data