New cookie law in UK?

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by simmons1, Feb 25, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. webmonkey

    webmonkey New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    D&D, I don't necessarily disagree with any of the points you and mikehenson have raised, what I do think, if you will forgive me mangling a topical allusion, is that "Ye all protest too much".

    This legislation is by no means finalized, nor uniformly adopted. No one (so far as I am aware) has yet been prosecuted for non-compliance, nor have many of the biggest sites in the EU (including many government sites) implemented the legislation. Moreover, when I daily see large, well-known sites attempting to load upwards of two dozen javascripts per page to present me with unwanted crap of all kinds and track my browsing session, collect browser data and demographics, etc -- all without obtaining my consent -- third-party analytical cookies seem a very minor infringement of my personal liberty!

    I get the distinct feeling that this is Statcounter's view too, though they haven't said so in so many words...and I can't really blame them for not responding to this thread.

    In short, whilst I am all in favour of curtailing Internet "abuse" in all its many forms (I could mention spam, here), requiring webmasters and mistresses to implement this ill-conceived and shambolic legislation takes straining at gnats whilst blindly swallowing a whole herd of camels to new heights of absurdity.
     
  2. DavyAndDavy

    DavyAndDavy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your statement is not correct, at least for the UK, Ireland and many others, although I don't know about all the EU countries.

    The UK legislation became law last May and the UK Regulator has issued 2 sets of guidelines since then, the latest being along the lines already mentioned in this thread.

    I agree that many of the big boys don't appear to be making any progress to abide by the rules but I don't see how this absolves you from becoming legal, especially when the UK ICO has thrown you a lifeline (if you are UK based) by defining what is and what isn't a minor infringement, using your words, that will not attract prosecution. Third party cookies for a analytical purposes is not on that list whereas first party cookies for the same purpose is.

    It seems a strange attitude to say that the legislation is bad, which it is, and therefore we don't have to comply.

    By the way, the UK ICO has said, more or less, that it won't start to prosecute until May 2012.
     
  3. splatcat

    splatcat New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    How many people will need Statcounter to do anything?

    By that I mean I will have to sort something about consent because there is no way I can stop serving cookies. It would wreck my affiliate income and AdSense don't seem to be doing anything. So for me Statcounters behavior wont make a difference.

    I wonder how many people are in my situation and how many need Statcounter to alter.
     
  4. DavyAndDavy

    DavyAndDavy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    You are going to have to find a way to stop serving cookies if/when your users refuse, or simply don't give, consent. And rough estimates suggest that only 10% will give the consent. (So does that mean you loose 90% of your income?)
     
  5. sim64

    sim64 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0


    Something that has always baffled me.
    Why would a town council or parish council website need a statcounter and need to track visitors?
     
  6. DavyAndDavy

    DavyAndDavy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    For the same initial reason as any websites needs to track visitors, to see if it gets any visitors and to see which pages on the site are being viewed. If it doesn't get any visitors then the site is a waste of time and money and probably the owner needs to promote it somehow. By knowing the pages visited and the visitor paths the owner can see what interests people and can adjust and modify accordingly. Without tracking it's just a stab in the dark.

    As someone said: "Only 50% of marketing actually works. If only we knew which 50%"
     
  7. sim64

    sim64 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0

    But what has a Parish Council website got to do with marketing?
     
  8. webado

    webado Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    28,159
    Likes Received:
    1
    It's not about marketing as in something of a commercial nature.

    It is however about knowing whether your website is well indexed and ranked to attract the right kind of visitors for the right kind of search to justify the website's existence.

    Being able to measure and analyse your traffic (how much, from where, how they got there, what they visited on the site) allows you to know whether you are reaching your goals.

    Those legislators had better learn about the internet protocol, indeed about any sort of communications protocol, before they attempt to impose such silly laws blindly.

    It's funny and hypocritical of countries like the UK, who seem to want to know what every individual does in their daily lives, when and where and how and with whom, that they should attempt to want to change the fundamental way the internet functions.
     
  9. DavyAndDavy

    DavyAndDavy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm sure you realise that this was a merely quote chosen to illustrate the desire to know how well something is working.

    Webado: this is from a EU directive that, as far as I know, was really aimed at behavioural advertising but it's chosen to legislate on the tool rather than the action. It seems to me that the UK doesn't really want to penalise those using cookies for other purposes so the regulator has issued guidelines on how to use such cookies without getting prosecuted, including using 1st party cookies for analytics.
     
  10. Lawman

    Lawman New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am a little surprised that the simple request to assist with a legal requirement in the UK is met with comments about the need or relevance or efficacy of said law.

    There is a legal requirement and we in the UK must comply or risk prosecution.

    I doubt the individual views of anyone have any place in this process.
     
  11. webmonkey

    webmonkey New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    We must indeed. :roll:
    No argument there.
    What is open to question is the nature of the "risk".

    Be that as it may, Stacounter, like any other analytics provider, are simply supplying a service. The onus (as I understand the legislation) is not on them but on individual webmasters and site owners to comply. So I'm at a loss to know what's stopping you or anyone else complying?

    Indeed, I see that the several companies have not been backward in coming forward to assist site owners to comply...for a price, of course. In one case, one company is offering to do it all for you for the measly sum of just £295 (plus VAT, natch) per annum. I feel a sense of millennium bug monetization deja vu coming on.... What a pity I missed out on that last goldmine...opppss...opportunity!

    Frankly, with KPMG reporting just a a few days ago that 95% of UK organisations (many within the FTSE 100) 'do not comply with EU cookie law', I'm not expecting a visit from several large gentlemen with suspicious bulges under their right armpits any time soon... I rather doubt the MIB will go after the sites using statcounter when there are much bigger and fatter fish to net that spend more on analytics per day than you or I earn in a year.

    I leave you with the words "teacup" and "storm". ;-)
     
  12. DavyAndDavy

    DavyAndDavy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree that risk assessment is key to the way forward, and it will be interesting to see if the various (UK) government websites, amongst others, suddenly comply on 27th May. But personally I'd rather use UK ICO guidelines when assessing the risk for UK sites than just relying on action being taken against the bigger boys before the tiddlers are challenged, even though that's probably what will happen.
     
  13. simmons1

    simmons1 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    So, this one has been around and around!

    Lots of comments and people's opinions about the new legislation but nothing that answers my original question: what do we do addressing the new UK/EU law (for UK-hosted, UK-based business' websites) and meeting the ICO requirements?
    Or should we just remove Statcounter scripts from websites? And also remove Google Analytics?

    I am disappointed that there has not been more direct information/guidance from Statcounter (especially since it is an Irish site and is directly affected by the EU legislation).

    No good doing an impression of an ostrich and hoping it will go away!
     
  14. splatcat

    splatcat New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
  15. DavyAndDavy

    DavyAndDavy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Asking for user consent will just result in meaningless analytics so if you want analytics without asking for consent simply follow the UK ICO guidelines published in December 2011.

    Specifically:

    Remove StatCounter (3rd party cookies).
    (Continue to) use Google Analytics (1st party cookies).
    Put a clear and detailed explanation, somewhere on your website, about the GA cookies that are being used and why.
    Add a prominent link on each page to that explanation.

    That's it. (I already said this in post number 3)
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  16. StatCounterJen

    StatCounterJen StatCounter Team

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,899
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi folks,

    You can now disable the use of StatCounter cookies on your site if you wish.

    • Go to "Projects"
    • Click the "wrench" or "spanner" icon beside your project name
    • In the left menu bar, click "cookie opt-out"

    Opting out of using cookies will adversely affect some of your stats but the vast majority of your stats will continue to be accurately tracked.

    The cookie opt out page provides full information on the stats affected.

    We hope this new option is useful for you.
     
  17. simmons1

    simmons1 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the new fuctionality.
    Having spent more time reading (including the guide here:
    http://www.international-chamber.co.uk/blog/2012/04/02/launch-of-icc-uk-cookie-guide/ )
    I have added an opt-in/opt-out script to one of the websites I manage for a client's business to try out.
    It is not only necessary to give visitors the option, but also to update/add a Privacy Policy to the website clearly explaining what you do, and how and why you do it.
     
  18. DavyAndDavy

    DavyAndDavy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for that. Disabling cookies now makes it possible to have StatCounter on EU sites without seeking consent to use cookies.

    Have you had any thoughts about changing to using 1st party cookies which the UK ICO is "allowing" on UK sites for analytical purposes?
     
  19. webmonkey

    webmonkey New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Precisely. You must comply. Statcounter don't need to, which may be why they have chosen not to comment. Moreover, AFAIK, the legislation says that any business whose website is exclusively targeted to non-EU audiences will not have to comply. I guess that would cover most of SC's customers.
     
  20. Rory_A

    Rory_A Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    0
    We're definitely trying to do our part to help out our users who are effected by this law. As time passes it will become more clear exactly who is effected and how. As Jenni mentioned we currently have a cookie opt out feature in place to keep people in compliance.

    Please do note that we're not a very big company so we're not able to personally pop into every discussion even though we wish we could. So if we're ever absent from a convo it's likely because (a) we're unaware the convo is even happening or (b) we're tied up with other StatCounter stuff.

    Regards
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page