Compliance Countdown

Compliance Countdown

Calling all UK councils: get compliant with data privacy regulations

Countdown Comply-ometer

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The current state of play

1 March 2020

404 council sites scanned:
52 compliant (13%)

Consent tools used by compliant councils
  • CAN Accord / Quantcast 2
  • Cassie 1
  • Civic 16
  • Cookie Hub 1
  • Cookie Law Info 1
  • Cookie Bot 3
  • One Trust 1
  • Privacy Policies 2
  • Timely 1
  • No tool / no cookies 2
  • *Other 22

*Using their own consent tool or an unidentifiable CMP

All UK county, metropolitan, unitary, district, and borough councils have been included. 

Baseline statistics are taken from a scan for non-essential cookies deployed before consent is given for week ending 28 February 2020.

UK local councils have a massive problem complying with data privacy regulations. At the start of March 2020, just 13% met the requirements. Media articles from both the BBC and The Guardian highlighted the issue.

So, we want to see all the main councils in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland compliant and ahead of most other sectors with our campaign to improve understanding of the issue and provide a simple fix.

Why are council websites non-compliant?

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR or ‘E-privacy Directive’) were updated in 2019 to say that no ‘non-essential cookies’ should be dropped onto web browsers without first getting explicit prior permission from the user.

This includes anything that’s not part of the ‘plumbing’ of a website – including cookies used for analytics, customisation, functionality or performance.

Most website publishers – including big brands and news organisations – are not yet fully compliant with this regulation. 

What can councils do to get compliant?

You can find out easily and quickly if your council is breaking data privacy regulations by downloading the report on your council website homepage you’ll find on our SiteSCAN webpage. This will show you if ‘non-essential’ third-party cookies are being dropped onto a user’s browser before consent is given, thus breaking regulations.

The key to compliance is having an adequate consent management platform (CMP) on your website that will withhold all non-essential cookies until consent is given by the user.

We’ve developed a council-friendly CMP – CAN Accord – powered by the well-known Quantcast tool, with added tech that means all non-essential cookies (including those for analytics and social media) are withheld until consent is given.

It’s available to all councils – whether they are on our Council Advertising Network or not – FREE of charge.

If you’re a CAN network council partner running our CMP for your advertising cookies, get in touch about installing the extra code to make sure you’re fully compliant for all non-essential cookies.