Are you ready for the EU Cookie Directive deadline?

26th of May 2012 is the official deadline for websites to conform with the EU Cookie Directive which requires all European websites to request permission before serving cookies to EU Cookie Directivetheir visitors. Cookies are generally used to improve the  visitors’ experience by remembering what visitors are doing and displaying differently based on that information. Most tracking software also use cookies to collect data, so without cookies on your website, tracking like Google Analytics won’t work. The reason the EU Cookie Directive exists is because cookies watch the activities of visitors, so could be seen to infringe on their privacy…I can see the point but this directive is creating way more problems than it’s solving.

In order to get permission you are forced to either stop site visitors when entering your site with a pop up and demand permission at that point, OR use a banner at the top or bottom of your website asking nicely. The first option is intrusive and may well put a lot of visitors off your website altogether. The second option risks being ignored by people who just don’t understand what they’re agreeing to. What does that mean? Any tracking cookies won’t work – a missed opportunity to gather some useful data, potentially on a large chunk of your website’s visits. Also any cookies that help to make the visitor’s website experience more customised and enjoyable won’t work. Oh and not forgetting: if you’re running ads on your website that are highly targeted to the visitors, they also won’t work without getting cookie consent. If this is your website’s source of revenue, it’s a big problem!

What does the EU Cookie Directive mean to you?

You can either:

  1. Ignore it (and risk hefty fines)
  2. Stop using cookies (you’re be surprised by how much of your website actually uses cookies to run)
  3. Install the ability to request permission BEFORE using cookies on your website

How can you comply with the EU Cookie Directive?

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