Following the changes to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, Field Fisher Waterhouse and Sitemorse have collaborated on a cookie compliance solution.

The changes, announced this week, enforce businesses and organisations who run websites in the UK that they need to get consent from visitors to their websites in order to store cookies on users' computers.

Law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse and web content governance solutions supplier Sitemorse have joined forces to launch the Cookie Audit and Advisory Service. According to the companies, this tackles the combined technical and legal challenges that businesses face in cataloguing existing cookie use and determining appropriate user transparency and consent strategies.

They said that the service offers a three-stage review for businesses trying to identify and put in place comprehensive and transparent consent strategies. Initially, Sitemorse will use its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) web content governance tools to undertake an extensive review of the website domain and identify the cookies and other tracking devices served through it.

Field Fisher Waterhouse's privacy specialists will then review the potential intrusiveness of those cookies under European privacy law and guidance.

Finally, Sitemorse and Field Fisher Waterhouse will recommend appropriate transparency and consent strategies, tailored to meet their clients' specific commercial and technical constraints.

Eduardo Ustaran, head of Field Fisher Waterhouse's privacy and information law group, said: “The new cookie rules are a real compliance challenge for everyone because of the uncertainty they create. This service is an attempt to help internet business get this right by combining a tool to identify what cookies websites use with a practical and realistic legal assessment.”

Lawrence Shaw, CEO of Sitemorse, said: “This isn't just a one-off, quick fix. Websites evolve over time and so do their use of cookies. It can be very difficult just keeping track of what is served through your site, where and for what reason, let alone assessing how intrusive those cookies are and what disclosures and consents are required.

“That's why our solution also offers ongoing 24/7 cookie monitoring and will report when new cookies are deployed or used outside agreed permissions. This enables businesses to really manage their forward-facing website compliance in a simple, effective manner.”