New Rules for Online Marketing affect all UK websites which use cookies. The regulations are maInly targeted at online advertising sites which track user behaviour, however any website which uses cookies will be required to warn viewers and give them the choice to opt out. It's clear that this will affect the design and usability of many sites.

The ICO has implemented a version of this already on it's own website - a clunky box which won't go away unless the viewer accepts cookies.

Businesses have 12 months to update their websites - here is the text from the site:

Many websites use cookies. Once these rules start to be put into practice over the coming months you are likely to start to see more information about cookies on sites and be given more choices about these cookies. This might include, for example, being asked to agree to a cookie being used for a particular service, such as remembering your preferences on a site.

Organisations will need to decide on the best way to provide clear information about cookies and to give people using their websites the right choices. They will also want to make sure that these changes do not adversely affect the experience of people using the internet.

A new website explains how behavioural advertising works and includes links to opt out options and policies for major advertisers including Google as well as an explanation of cookies.