The New Cookie Law

  Proclaimer 01 Jun 11
Locked

Does it affect all web sites? I have a Hobby site, purely for a game, with a Forum and download section and I have a Business site.

I have no idea how I am meant to comply or to be honest what cookies are set. I do have one that I know about, it is for 'statcounter' and collects info on where visitors come from and where they visit and for how long. IU can delete that but I want it on the site so don't know how to selectively disable it.

Then there is my hosting package, that automatically collects user stats for me and displays them in the Plesk CP. I have no idea where that is or how to modify that.

So, notwithstanding the fact that we have one year to comply and that the law is in force now, any one got any bright ideas how small sites can actually comply, or what would happen if I just ignored the law?

  Ansolan 02 Jun 11

Does it affect all web sites?

Yes

I have no idea how I am meant to comply or to be honest what cookies are set

That isn't going to help, knowing what is happening on your website is your responsibility (as it should be). As an incidental point, if you don't know what the files on your site do, how would you know if the site had been hacked. More dangerous than most privacy issues.

Cookies for collecting user stats will need to meet the new requirements.

Beyond the above rather bland statements of legal intent, you might find this useful:

ICO on cookies

As to exactly how the law will be applied and enforced, do let everyone know if you find out, including the Information Commissioner:)

Seriously, this is a developing situation and in reality, doubt the law will be enforced well, or in great depth for some while, if at all. That is still no reason not to comply, using phones whilst driving, or wearing seat belts aren't particularly enforced either but people still get fined every day.

If you want an opinion, enforcement is only likely to be for real breaches of privacy and only when consent via browser options is widespread, some while away.

Still no reason not to get to grips with what your site is doing. A few odd results in the courts, or a malicious complaint could leave you exposed, why risk that. For many small sites, amendments to gain user consent aren't a great issue, could even be used as a visitor experience positive. No more than a remember me, or similar button people choose to tick, possibly with a touch more wording.

  adam32 02 Jun 11

The Youtube cookies will be your responsibility, legally, as much as any other.

Anyhoo, it has been delayed by 12 months, so everyone has have plenty of time.

  Proclaimer 02 Jun 11

adam32 'Anyhoo, it has been delayed by 12 months, so everyone has have plenty of time.'

As I understand it, it is Law now and we have 12 months to implement it. I just wonder how I am supposed to provide users with a choice to accept cookies from our site before they are set if I don't know how to force my site to not set them in the first place.

For now I am doing nothing but it seems to me I will have to just stop using the Analytic Cookie(s) I am currently using and perhaps contact my Host to ask about disabling the cookie that collects visitor stats in my Control Panel.

I can't say I am worried by this Law, I just have time to research it and do something about it now if there is something useful that can be done.

  Forum Editor 02 Jun 11

"....in reality, doubt the law will be enforced well, or in great depth for some while, if at all. That is still no reason not to comply...."

I agree with every word of that.

  adam32 02 Jun 11

That's largely semantics, Proclaimer. All of the sources that I've seen have quoted the ICO along the lines of "this law will be delayed for one year", so the practical outcome for webmasters is the same.

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