On  May 8, 2014, the Italian Data Protection Authority  issued the general resolution, which requires publishers of web sites to inform the end users about profiling cookies, installed on the end user’s terminal.

Profiling cookies are aimed at creating user profiles. They are used to send ads messages in line with the preferences shown by the user during navigation. In the light of the highly invasive nature of these cookies vis-à-vis users’ private sphere, Italian and European legislation requires users to be informed appropriately on their use so as to give their valid consent.

These cookies are referred to in Article 122(1) of the Code where it is provided that “Storing information, or accessing information that is already stored, in the terminal equipment of a contracting party or user shall only be permitted on condition that the contracting party or user has given his consent after being informed in accordance with the simplified arrangements mentioned in section 13(3).”

In this regard, the Italian Data Protection Authority set out that a suitably sized banner is to be displayed on screen immediately a user accesses the home page or any other page of a website, and that such banner is to contain the information listed below: a. That the website uses profiling cookies to send advertising messages in line with the user’s online navigation preferences; b. That the website allows sending third-party cookies as well (of course, if this is actually the case); c. A clickable link to the extended information notice, where additional information must be available on the following: i. Use of technical and analytics cookies; ii. Tools available to select the cookies to be enabled; iii. Possibility for the user to configure browser settings as a further mechanism to select the preferred use of cookies by the website, including at least a reference to the procedure to be followed to configure those  settings; d. That on the extended information notice page the user may refuse to consent to the installation of whatever cookies; e. That if the user continues browsing by accessing any other section or selecting any item on the website (e.g. by clicking a picture or a link), he or she signifies his or her consent to the use of cookies.