New Zealand does not appear to share US concerns about using cookies on government websites, but does set a number of controls about when they are used — and when they are not.
However, New Zealand policy allows cookies, provided agencies declare when they are used. Technical standards also require that if a user opts out of using cookies, agencies must ensure the site still works.
“Information or services in web pages or applications must be available without scripts, applets and other programmatic objects,” a Department of Internal Affairs spokesman says.
“The advice we provide under Web Standards 2, regarding cookies, is contained within the Privacy Statement Standard. We are not prescriptive about whether cookies should be used or not, but do require agencies to declare if cookies are being used,” he says.
The web standard requires all agencies to carry a privacy statement covering, as a minimum, the scope of the statement and the circumstances in which personal information is collected, by whom it is held and any choices users may have as to whether such information is collected.
Agencies must also state: the uses to which collected personal information may be put and the circumstances in which it may be disclosed; the collection and use of statistical information, including users’ IP addresses; a statement that cookies are used if that is the case and relevant implications of that (if any); users’ rights to request access to or correction of personal information; and contact details for such purposes.
The statement must be either in the “About this site” page or linked to from it.