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By now, you’re probably accustomed to those website pop-up or banner messages informing you that the website you’re visiting uses cookies and asking you to click on the “I Accept” button.

Displaying consent notices that the website is collecting your data as you maneuver through the website has become common practice across many websites, particularly following the passage of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 and recent state laws.

I giant "I accept" button with a cursor, representing the new cookie acknowledgement bannerYou will soon encounter cookie acknowledgement banners on University websites too.

UNC-Chapel Hill will begin adding a cookie acknowledgement banner to the bottom of University websites to meet our compliance obligations with applicable federal, state and international laws, including the GDPR. Beginning on October 30, Carolina will roll out this change that will, over time, impact thousands of University websites.

To address these requirements, the UNC Institutional Privacy Office created a new privacy notice and partnered with ITS to create a cookie statement and develop a separate cookie acknowledgement banner to post on all University-hosted sites.

What to expect as a website visitor

For you and other website visitors, this change is a good thing in that you are directly informed that the University collects information about your website use to enhance your experiences places visitors on notice of the University’s data collection practices maintained in the privacy statement. This is a common practice across many websites, particularly following the passage of the GDPR in 2018 and recent state laws.

Whether it’s a snail mail letter from your bank, the fine print before you download an app, or a website displaying a cookie notice, we all appreciate transparency about data collection and our privacy.

When the cookie banners appear on University websites, all you need to do is click on the “I agree” button at the bottom of the website you’re visiting, and you then roam as usual on the site.

What to expect as an ITS-hosted website owner or admin

If you own or administer a website hosted by ITS Digital Services on the WordPress platform, you have no action to take. There is no opting out — the banners are required. Site owners will not be able to request any customizations to the banner. The banner will include a required link to the privacy statement and cookie statement.

For the next three to six months, ITS will focus on rolling out the banners to University-managed websites that are hosted by ITS Digital Services on our WordPress platform.

What to expect as an owner or admin of a site not hosted by ITS

If you own or administer a website that is not managed by Digital Services, you will need to add a cookie banner by early 2024. ITS will contact you with details after Digital Services rolls out banners to the University websites it hosts.

You are welcome to implement the banner using the technology or plugins that work best for your content management system provided it adheres to accessibility standards. You must, however, use the precise language below.

The cookie acknowledgement banner

The cookie banner language will be as follows, including an “I accept” button that causes the banner to disappear.

This website uses cookies and similar technologies to understand visitor experiences. By using this website, you consent to UNC-Chapel Hill’s cookie usage in accordance with their Privacy Notice.

In the future, owners of websites not hosted by ITS will be asked to provide standardized privacy and cookie statement links in their website footers. Site owners should expect additional communication in the coming months.


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