Cookies

Discussion in 'ARRSE: Site Issues' started by Mr_Fingerz, Jul 4, 2011.

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  1. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    BBC News - Cutting cookies cuts traffic (c) Auntie.

    Probably of more interest to the CO's and those of us who run websites in the course of our business.

    It would appear, from the Information Commissioner's experience, that the proposed EU Directive is going to make some lives a pain in the arrse. Advertisers won't be happy either.
     
  2. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    I have a thing called ghostery for safari which tells me which sights are monitoring what i do and blocks them for me, arrse only has 2 which both linked to having google as a search engine but some sites I get a dozen.

    getting a better hosts file helps block a lot of page ads, pop ups and pop unders.
     
  3. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    Its a really tricky one this as we do genuinely "try not to be too evil" when it comes to this sort of stuff but there is no doubt that if you need your website to make money some of this stuff makes a big difference. Many of the ads on here are generated by Google Adwords/Adsense which do use tracking cookies to serve ads that they think are relevant. I made the mistake of looking at screwfix a few days ago and have been chased across the internet by them ever since!
     
  4. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    Our understanding of the law is that there is an onus on the people who make the web software to make it compliant with the new policy. In our case this is vbulletin.com and we believe they're working on it .....
     
  5. Interesting. Mozilla

    arrse.co.uk, informs the following websites about you.

    • serving-sys.com
    • google.com
    • doubleclick.net
    • invitemedia.com
    • contextweb.com
    • mathtag.com
    • criteo.com
    • fastclick.net
    • youtube.com
     
  6. I've just deleted all the cookies not related to sites I visit...... come back on here for 15 minutes, only, do not click any links to external sites, just read a few posts....... over 30 cookies back on.

    William Hill ?

    France Telecom?

    Everest?
     
  7. Good CO

    Good CO LE Admin

    all related to ads I assume and normal sinister. Do they bother you? If you want to post one or email it I can do my best to check it out for you. I think clicking on the small "AdChoice" links on banners these days gives options and information too.
     
  8. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    I suspect those are tracking cookies from the banner ads. Why not try a similar experiment with any major website such as Amazon, ebay, Daily Mail, Telegraph, etc?

    BTW do you own a supermarket loyalty card or credit card? Or use Facebook, gmail, hotmail or anything similar? If so you might want to check out exactly information you've authorised them to use!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. I'm not whinging about ARRSE, I was just curious about the fact that you click on a site, any site, knowing that they will plant cookies, but all sorts of third parties plant adware, spyware etc without your permission.


    I thought that these were the sort of cookies that the law was aimed at stopping?
     
  10. Someone is giving you very bad advice that can land you in a whole heap of trouble.

    As site owners you are personally responsible.

    Read this to find out what you should do:

    http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/privacy_and_electronic_communications/the_guide/~/media/documents/library/Privacy_and_electronic/Practical_application/cookies_guidance_v3.ashx

    Trying to pass liability to vbulletin.com is akin to forwarding a parking ticket to Ford.
     
  11. Good CO

    Good CO LE Admin

    Thanks for the prompt on this folks. Like most people we've been hoping that we can just ignore it, as it is in my opinion a load of bollocks. [edit: actually not - see my post below this one. It's actually quite a good thing in its latest form]

    The whole internet relies on cookies for all sorts of mundane stuff. They are actually really really dull tiny files, not some great drama. ARRSE and most other interactive websites simply wouldn't work without cookies as, for example, our server wouldn't know who you were from one page to the next, so you couldn't stay logged in for example.

    We certainly don't have the motive or technical ability to plant 'spyware' on your computer. This is tin foil hat stuff. Even the word 'plant' makes it sound like some sort of evil activity - if it was underhanded then browsers, the actual software that stores the cookie on behalf of the website concerned, simply wouldn't allow it.

    I agree that it is our responsibility to comply with the new laws, not software producers, although software producers are helping users like us be clarifying what does what and so on, and selling their products as compliant. This could be helpful

    I will look at getting an ICO style "read our privacy policy" notice, as I assume that this is the perfect example to follow (ICO - Information Commissioner's Office, responsible for this stuff):

    Data Protection and Freedom of Information advice - ICO

    Thankfully they moved away from a popup after a lot of complaint, so I'm hoping this is now the way forward, as it isn't a great drama. I did think is was slightly ironic that their cookie policy contains an explanation of the cookie that records the users cookie preferences!

    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD]ICO site cookie acceptance[/TD]
    [TD]ICOCookiesAccepted[/TD]
    [TD]This cookie is used to record if a user has accepted the use of cookies on the ICO website.[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]


    So we need something like: "ARRSE uses these cookies: Google Analytics for usage stats, Google Adwords........ VBulletin session....... etc etc"

    Once again the ICO is a good example of how to explain what the cookies do as shown above. Note that they also use Google Analytics, and you wouldn't normally associate the ICO with 'spyware'.

    Privacy notice - Information Commissioner's Office - ICO

    As for Firefox and Adblocker, they have nothing to do with cookies. Cookies, as I said, are needed to make this and many other sites work.

    So, I'll do it, but it's an irritation for us and users alike.
     
  12. Agreed
     
  13. Good CO

    Good CO LE Admin

    Actually I hadn;t realised, but the laws changed just before it came in in the UK to allow for "implicit consent", which seems whole lot more sensible. In fact I'd go as far as to say that I think it's a good thing, and cookie information should be less jargon-packed and made clear:

    » ICO: Implied Consent OK for Analytics Cookies »

    Now the ICO has finally decided, on the last working day before the regulation was due to be enforced, that analytics cookies can fall under the rule that ‘implied consent’ is good enough. Implied consent means that by using the website they are agreeing to accept the cookies you give them because you tell them you will in your privacy policy.Does that mean that you should carry on as before? Not quite. Implied consent is one thing, but actually making the users more aware of what you are doing with cookies is still important. What we actually want is informed, implied consent. Therefore, if you have a website in the UK you should be doing the following things:
    1. Audit your site to see what cookies you are using. Stop giving out any that you no longer use and see if you can consolidate others. You should also be looking how long you set your cookies before they expire.
    2. Audit your privacy policy to make sure that it tells your users exactly what it is that you are doing with the cookies in plain English (NOT legal or technical jargon). This also means telling them what you are going to do with the data once it has been collected.
    3. Ensure that your cookie policy is linked to on every single page of your website in a prominent position, whether you follow BT’s example of a floating option in the bottom right hand corner, The Guardian’s with a small box at the top, The Sun’s with a small box at the bottom or Bulmer’s with a full screen overlay on entry (see figure 1 below)
    I will get on the case