Google turns on transparency website for the EU


by Ben Sullivan| 01 July 2014

New site aims to teach visitors all about cookies.

A new website has been launched by Google to help Internet users understand more about cookies, files stored on computers that remember websites visited to help targeted ads find the right place.

The site,, also provides a code that website developers can implement into their own websites, which will notify visitors when they are being tracked and what information cookies can reveal about their browsing habits.

The notifications will come in the form of pop-up alerts, and the site is designed to meet EU internet laws that demand website owners to give their visitors information about how their cookies are being used.

The EU's cookie directive was implemented on May 26, 2012, and means that website publishers have to get their visitors consent before placing a cookie on their machine.

The landing page for the new website reads: "We offer two basic tools for websites. The first tool will create a splash screen, which you may wish to use for your landing page. The second tool can be used to overlay a notification bar on your landing page. If you decide that a splash screen or a notification bar are the right approach for your site, you are welcome to use the tools provided here.

"European laws require that digital publishers give visitors to their sites and apps information about their use of cookies and other forms of local storage. In many cases these laws also require that consent be obtained.

The notifactions can also be made visible for visitors outside of the EU unless website owners impose their own geographic restrictions.

The website comes amidst a landmark 'right to be forgotten' case in the EU which ruled that people should be able to ask Google to erase information about them that they want to be forgotten from the search engine's results, even if that information is published on third party sites.

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