SiteSCAN: keep your cookies under control

Keep your cookies under control

What is SiteSCAN?

It’s a free tool designed to help the public sector to comply with current regulations on the use of tracking cookies by their websites. New, stricter regulations on ‘cookie consent’ came into force in 2019 and very few websites are dealing adequately with the implications.

SiteSCAN provides you with a report on the ‘non-essential’ cookies dropped onto a visitor’s web browser before consent is given as a result of going to your website. If your website serves any non-essential cookies, you are breaking data privacy regulations. There is more information about the regulations and how to understand your report below.

We have developed a consent management platform – CAN Accord – especially for public sector organisations that ensures no non-essential cookies are dropped until consent is given. It is available FREE to all councils. Contact us for details. 

Download your FREE report
Choose the name of your council from the dropdown list below and download a PDF report on the homepage. We can also send you reports on other pages on your council website or for other dates free of charge by email (click on the ‘Order a report’ button under ‘What will the report tell me?’ below).

Please note: all UK county, metropolitan, unitary, district, and borough councils should be on the list. If your council is not there, fill in our contact form to let us know. We’re also happy to add other public sector organisations to the list – just get in touch.

Why do I need to check our website cookies?

Rules on the use of tracking cookies by website publishers were tightened up in 2019 and will continue to be scrutinised by regulators.

You can find out more about the current regulations on our Q&A page  but the key thing to bear in mind is that data privacy and ‘cookie control’ is not just about GDPR compliance.

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. Are you?

Websites without advertising are still at risk of non-compliance

At CAN we run an advertising network for local government organisations, including around 50 local councils. Companies like ours have to be particularly vigilant when it comes to regulations governing the use of cookies as – in order to deliver ads tailored to individual interests – we have to collect a small amount of what’s considered ‘Personally Identifiable Information (PII)’ data from tracking cookies.

However, although current regulations are very concerned with consent around PII, when it comes to tracking cookies, the most recent guidance makes no distinction between advertising cookies and any other ‘non-essential’ cookies – like those used for analytics or social media, which most councils use.

In fact, there are cases – such as with Google’s ‘Doubleclick’ – when a cookie that could potentially be used for advertising is loaded as part of a suite of analytics tools, even though no ads are running on the website.

What will the report tell me?

Your SiteSCAN report will list all the tracking cookies served to visitors when they go onto your website, before they give their consent for them. These will be categorised so you can easily identify which ones are ‘non-essential’. It will also provide information on the vendors who originated these cookies.

If you’d like further reports – on other council website pages or at a later date (for example, once you’ve taken action to solve any compliance issues) – we can provide these free of charge too. Just click on the button below and provide your name and council email address. Your report(s) will then be emailed to you.

How do I interpret the results?

If you find non-essential cookies listed on your SiteSCAN report, it means you have an issue with non-compliance as only those categorised as ‘essential’ are allowed to be deployed before consent under current regulations.

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

The most well-used Internet Advertising Bureau-approved consent tools are Cookiebot and Quantcast. You can find out more on the IAB Europe website.

CAN has developed a consent management platform especially for the public sector: CAN Accord. Powered by the well-used Quantcast solution, it has added code that ‘wraps’ around non-essential tracking cookies on your website so they are withheld indefinitely until consent is given.

It is a solution we’ve made available FREE to all UK councils to help get the whole sector compliant.

Find out more about CAN’s FREE consent management platform for councils – CAN Accord – and contact us  for your own version and implementation instructions or with any queries.