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  1. #1
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    EU Cookie Directive

    Hi

    I have heard that EU Cookie Directive which is due to be inforced during May 2012 will not allow the use of Google Analytics, as GA uses cookies to track user info. Is this true?

    Many thanks in advance

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot Sogo7's Avatar
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    Technically the Law is active already, it was put on hold for a year while the ammendments were hammered out... yeah I know go figure

    When a visitor from inside the EU arrives at your website for the first time you must tell them you are using analytics cookies.
    Have no idea if you are supposed to tell them if you are using 'Cloud Flare' as this performs a similiar cross domain tracking
    Does not matter where your website is hosted, once the page data enters the EU it must comply with local law.

    Then the visitor can then choose to accept the use of cookies & enter the site or not and just leave
    Consent must involve the visitor performing an action to agree to this, implied consent will not
    be enough.. so phrases like " continued use of this site constitutes acceptance our Terms & conditions "
    are worthless.

    You can get more free information from Outlaw.com , run by a UK Law firm (Pinot Masons) who specialise in Internet shenanigins

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the post. I have yet to see a site that prompts me about the cookie. Do you know of any websites that do the prompting well?

    many thanks in advance

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    SitePoint Zealot Sogo7's Avatar
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    There are several about but this ones quite subtle

    http://www.eantics.co.uk/

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the link, much appreciated

    I dont suppose you know what Google are going to do about the Cookie Directive, do you think they will offer a cookiless option on GA?

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    SitePoint Zealot Sogo7's Avatar
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    Cookies are not vital to analytics, at best all they can tell you is if a visitor has been to the site before.
    Already webmasters are seeing a greater number of people browsing with 'shields up' refusing cookies & blocking adverts
    so you need to look at your data a little bit closer and profile the visitors. GA does not really do this well so you may
    want to bash your own analytics script together

  7. #7
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    Thanks Sogo7, you have been really helpful, cheers

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    Just part of why I consider tracking packages to be pointless page bloat -- well, apart from the javascipt for nothing, extra handshakes for nothing, and general redundancies to server log analysis via tools like analog or webalizer.

    Obsessing on statistics beyond what your server provides usually falls into the same category of polishing a turd or trying to come up with more lame excuses for not being a web professional -- Most people I see wasting time on the statistical bull on their sites usually need to spend more time concentrating on what really matters.

    CONTENT. Fresh new content... Fresh ORIGINAL content... content presented in a clean fast loading

    But of course with the megabyte plus sized monstrosities filled with an idiotic half a meg or more javascript to deliver 3-6 content images and half a K of plaintext that seem to abound these days between inept back-end coders and PSD jockeys pissing all over the entire Internet, I might as well be talking to the wall.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I block tracking and most cookies in part becuase 3rd-party calls (what you've allowed onto your page for ads and tracking) make 4th-party calls... a single line of code can add hundreds of kilobytes to my page request, eating up my bandwidth and slowing your page down.

    The best analytics combine server and client-side logs.

    Back on topic, the EU directive is a directive: telling member nations to implement a law. It's not a law on its own. Each country makes its own law, and they may not have all implemented any laws yet. They may not all be the same. Would have been way easier to tell Europeans how to just use their browsers appropriately instead of content providers trying to use lawyers to decipher each country's different cookie law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    The best analytics combine server and client-side logs.
    I disagree on that, but that's because I've seen people run their sites into the ground by obsessing over who's visiting instead of focusing on getting more visitors... What resolutions are they running, where are they from, how did they get here... when as is said in that page I keep linking to...

    "This is the Web. The only thing you know about who will come is that you do not know who will come."...

    Which is why I increasingly am finding the mere concept of "target audience" to be one of the dumbest things this side of HTML 5, as people have taken a good concept and gone so overboard with it that it's now meaningless drivel used to cover up ineptitude.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I disagree on that, but that's because I've seen people run their sites into the ground by obsessing over who's visiting instead of focusing on getting more visitors... What resolutions are they running, where are they from, how did they get here... when as is said in that page I keep linking to...
    Big sites like Booking.com need to know things like resolution and other js-only data for their constant, unending A/B and multivariant testing, which they do several times a day (they can do them that fast because they get millions of visitors each day).

    Joe's blog? No. But any site with a significant number of visitors needs all sorts of user testing. Testing 5 people in the hallway is awesome, but A/B testing needs large numbers and you need to be able to get the data for those kinds of tests.

    I always wonder how much I screw up other people's analytics when I purchase something or do something on their site but with Javascript blocked...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sogo7 View Post
    When a visitor from inside the EU arrives at your website for the first time you must tell them you are using analytics cookies.

    Does not matter where your website is hosted, once the page data enters the EU it must comply with local law.
    Are politicians around the world getting dumber or what? I have no idea why this idiotic paranoia about browser cookies exists. Anyone can clear their cookies at any time (I clear mine multiple times per day and bounce my IP address, too) and if they are too stupid to know that or figure it out, why is the burden on webmasters to have to jump through hoops and invest money reconfiguring things to accommodate the idiots?

    Wouldn't it just be easier to ban the internet?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    Anyone can clear their cookies at any time (I clear mine multiple times per day and bounce my IP address, too) and if they are too stupid to know that or figure it out, why is the burden on webmasters to have to jump through hoops and invest money reconfiguring things to accommodate the idiots?
    That might be because large numbers of folk went to school before the internet was ever invented - or even PCs. They have never been taught IT skills, and while they have managed to learn enough by themselves to get by, there are gaps in their knowledge. No doubt most of them could figure out how to delete cookies - but that assumes they know the cookies exist in the first place. And there's your problem - cookies installed on someone's PC without their knowledge or consent. If you want your visitors to accept a cookie from your site, what's wrong with asking them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    why is the burden on webmasters to have to jump through hoops and invest money reconfiguring things to accommodate the idiots?
    There does seem to be a good number of idiotic paranoia-based bull in regards to many web technologies -- cookies chief amongst them; it's like the nonsensical "pageloads are evil" AJAX and framesets nonsense or the tables are evil and should never be used for anything whackjobs... or that there's any reason to deploy HTML 5.

    Though in the case of politicians and their decisions, you have to remember they know NOTHING about 99% of the things they're expected to make decisions about; It's unrealistic to expect any elected, appointed or nepotic official to be an expert on the things that come across their desk or placed before their respective assembly -- Which is why they usually just go with whatever makes a good headline or whoever waves the biggest wad of bills in front of their campaign manager.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Man, all excellent points...
    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude
    Are politicians around the world getting dumber or what? I have no idea why this idiotic paranoia about browser cookies exists. Anyone can clear their cookies at any time (I clear mine multiple times per day and bounce my IP address, too) and if they are too stupid to know that or figure it out, why is the burden on webmasters to have to jump through hoops and invest money reconfiguring things to accommodate the idiots?
    Well, Europe in general has been much bigger on "privacy" than the US/North America. I agree with you about real cookies: way better to teach people how to surf the internet than to give US/NA companies an advantage over EU companies (since most EU companies serve EU visitors etc) by adding an onus on them (an onus? onusses?).

    When it comes to some of the other stuff, though, I dunno: the new APIs coming with HTML5 like localstorage and whatnot actually include some things that the user (so far with current browsers) can't remove, at least not easily (I'm sure anyone can hack their .config folders, but should Grandma have to do that??).

    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude
    Wouldn't it just be easier to ban the internet?
    That's what my husband says every time he reads stuff like the twitter account of @herpderpedia (this accound retweeted everyone who was like "ZOMG WIKIPEDIA WHY YOU BLACK I HAVE TERM PAPER DUE!!!" and my husband and his geeky programmer friends are all like, "ETERNAL SEPTEMBER AAAARAG WHY DID WE LET STUPIDS ON TEH INTARWEBZ???"

    Me, I figured computers would become toasters in every home eventually, so some part of the internet has to be Derp-land anyway.

    With the SOPA-bill replacements (ACTA and the so-called "anti-kiddie-pr0n" bills), I figure this stuff will get passed in one way or anther (Spain passed a SOPA-like bill already, other countries are following suit), and I think we all need to accept that there will be at least 2 "Internets": the spied-on commercial censored version for most people and a free illegal sub-net for nerds who know what to do.

    All off-topic, though, since the EU directive (if any country's laws are actually enforced) means all commercial companies will need to comply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Technobear
    That might be because large numbers of folk went to school before the internet was ever invented - or even PCs. They have never been taught IT skills, and while they have managed to learn enough by themselves to get by, there are gaps in their knowledge. No doubt most of them could figure out how to delete cookies - but that assumes they know the cookies exist in the first place. And there's your problem - cookies installed on someone's PC without their knowledge or consent. If you want your visitors to accept a cookie from your site, what's wrong with asking them?
    I am a far bigger proponent of education myself. Teach people (and start with the kids in school today) how the internet works. DNS should never be a topic considered too esoteric for schools: today it's as important as anything else, at least in the West. Kids and their parents are becoming parts of bot-nets and spread spam and virusses because of ignorance, and this should count as a threat. They need to know how phishing works (no, banks shouldn't be the only ones trying to educate people on this, it should be basic requirements in school), how spam works, how SMTP works (and why addresses are so spoofable), how DNS works, how browsers work, and how to install any of the gazillion plugins on ANY browser that alert users automatically on all 3rd-party anythings.
    If everyone had, say, something like Ghostery, which at its minimum settings merely alerts users to who's tracking them, that right there could be an excuse to take the onus off those serving web pages. But the lawmakers haven't considered this apparently.

    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow
    Though in the case of politicians and their decisions, you have to remember they know NOTHING about 99% of the things they're expected to make decisions about; It's unrealistic to expect any elected, appointed or nepotic official to be an expert on the things that come across their desk or placed before their respective assembly -- Which is why they usually just go with whatever makes a good headline or whoever waves the biggest wad of bills in front of their campaign manager.
    This is scary and dangerous. Sure, it was funny to make fun of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens (who was then chair of the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation which "innernetz" is a part of as a subcommittee), but people only get into those positions of power after being in politics for a long time... and technology moves fast.

    The fact that most people using interwebz seem to have missed that SOPA has just been replaced almost immediately by the same guy who introduced SOPA (and is much less likely to be protested so hard as SOPA due to its name) just proves to me that the Dual-Internet is coming and rather inevitable.
    *no, neither of the "new" bills are that new... they've been brewing for some time, but have now become the new front-line in the US's war against free exchange of information via the series of tubes.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sogo7 View Post
    There are several about but this ones quite subtle

    http://www.eantics.co.uk/
    Cheers for that. I notice though that if JavaScript is disabled then the message and option to store the cookie is not displayed. Would this be an issue in anyone's opinion? Does this just mean that the cookie won't be stored - end of?

    Another example, is the Information Commissioner UK, which uses a header based message:

    http://www.ico.gov.uk/

    Again, there is JavaScript involved but disabling it does not remove the message; it is still visible.


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