In ordinance with the new EU ‘Cookie Directive’, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) brought in new legislation regarding the usage of cookies on websites on the 26th May 2011.
In brief, on a business website a user needs to be asked for their permission before any non-essential cookies are run. The full documentation can be found on the ICO’s website:
Have a look at the ICO’s website for an example of the implementation of the new rules. Upon the introduction of the new layout the ICO saw a 90% cut the usage of cookies on their site (source: Chinwag).
For those using WordPress, Redbridge Media has developed a ‘Cookie Consent‘ plugin which asks users for consent ahead of the activation of cookies.
** UPDATE **
This website ended up using another plugin.