25/05/2012 07:14 BST | Updated 25/07/2012 06:12 BST

New Cookie Legislation Mean Sites Ask Before They Monitor You

Have you seen weird messages popping up on your favourite websites today?

From today, new legislation in the UK means websites must ask you before they send cookies to your computer.

The questions will appear on most heavily used websites, such as the BBC, as websites must ask your consent before storing data relating to your time on their websites.

Cookies work by storing or accessing of information on your computer. Some are required to make certain websites work, while others simply gather information on you for the site's own purposes. You can read the communication minister, Ed Vaizey's, very own declaration of cookie use on his site here.

The new legislation will be enforced from tomorrow, year after the European Commission's Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive passed the amendment.

To enforce the law, new powers and a code of practice have been set up in the UK.

The Information Commissioner's Office has been given the powers to impose penalties of up to £500,000 on websites that breach the new regulations.

The London international chamber of commerce code of practice means that means site owners need to differentiate between the two type of cookies.

Enforcement will not focus on "cookies used for analytical activities", but consent will be asked for these.

Are you ok with sites asking for your information? Let us know in comments below.