Websites and cookies - new regulations!

anniem
anniem Registered Posts: 1,326
OK, let's work on the basis that I am completely stupid.

I have a website (I am clever enough to do that). I use Google analytics to see if anybody ever bothers to look at my website.

Somebody has created a law that means I need to tell viewers of my website that there are 'cookies' on my website.

I didn't put the cookies there, given the choice I would have eaten them and not shared them with complete strangers - those are the only cookies I know and understand!

Apparently Google analytics does something with the cookies lurking on my website; God knows what but it does tell me if people look at my website - I don't know who these people are and wouldn't be able to find/identify them if I tried.

What am I supposed to do to tell/warn people about the "computer-invading-cookies" and how am I supposed to go about it?

HELP! :confused1:

Anna
FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire

Comments

  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Registered Posts: 2,525
    Hello Anna

    I received an email from a financial instution about the use of 'Cookies' on websites. I'll try and put it into a pdf document and attach here.


    JC :o
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Registered Posts: 2,525
    Anna

    I converted it to pdf but am told by the website it is too large to attach :(

    I can email it to you if you think you may find it helpful.

    In short, I think you will need to put something on your website homepage to make 'users' aware that your website uses cookies.


    JC
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • ademoore
    ademoore Registered Posts: 146 ? ? ?
    Reading around, it seems (and I realise how much I have had my head buried in the sand! :001_unsure:) that a lot of commotion has been going on around sites using Google Analytics - and there are a lot of them overall!

    By having people switch off their cookies (which they can), Google Analytics is rendered a useless tool, however it seems there are 4 preset cookies which are enabled, and generally OK. They have specific names, do a specific job and have a specific life, on your local machine - however there is a fifth cookie available which you, as the website owner, can select to have on or off. The 5th one is you agreeing that whatever information you collect using Analytics, Google will have access too. By having this one set 'on', you then need to put up your wording about cookies.

    I found a website that explains it a little clearer than others - http://www.ampheon.co.uk/blog/cookie-law-and-google-analytics - see from para 4 and it seems to make a little more sense, with a suggestion on what to do if you have that 5th cookie set on.

    HTH! Angela
  • anniem
    anniem Registered Posts: 1,326
    Hi Jo

    That would be brilliant. As long as I can just put a line or two on my website I'm happy; I can do that!

    I'll pm you my email address.

    Anna
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Registered Posts: 2,525
    ademoore wrote: »
    Reading around, it seems (and I realise how much I have had my head buried in the sand! :001_unsure:) that a lot of commotion has been going on around sites using Google Analytics - and there are a lot of them overall!

    By having people switch off their cookies (which they can), Google Analytics is rendered a useless tool, however it seems there are 4 preset cookies which are enabled, and generally OK. They have specific names, do a specific job and have a specific life, on your local machine - however there is a fifth cookie available which you, as the website owner, can select to have on or off. The 5th one is you agreeing that whatever information you collect using Analytics, Google will have access too. By having this one set 'on', you then need to put up your wording about cookies.

    I found a website that explains it a little clearer than others - http://www.ampheon.co.uk/blog/cookie-law-and-google-analytics - see from para 4 and it seems to make a little more sense, with a suggestion on what to do if you have that 5th cookie set on.

    HTH! Angela


    Thanks for this Angela - I'll have a read later.
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • anniem
    anniem Registered Posts: 1,326
    Hi Angela

    Thank you for your link, I've looked at it and it doesn't seem as alarming as I had imagined. :001_smile:

    Anna
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • StuartW
    StuartW Registered Posts: 472 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    Hi Anna,

    This is quite a good set of FAQs on cookies, what they're used for, etc. They're mainly used to enhance user experience on websites. For example, if you ask a website to remember your username and password, this is done using cookies - the data is not kept by the website owners or anything, it's just a way to save your preferences.

    This regulation is a bit of a pain all round, really, especially if (like you, I imagine) you have a website but you had little involvement in its creation/development. Basically a good place to start might be to contact the people who created your website and ask them if they can tell you what cookies you site uses, if any.

    You'll then be able to put together a basic policy which notifies people how your website uses cookies. There will almost certainly be a template somewhere on the web which you can borrow/adapt for your own use. For example, here's AAT's current cookie policy.

    I've spoken to my colleagues to suggest that we communicate advice/resources of this nature to MIPs, because like you a lot of them will have websites and be unsure how to respond to this situation. So thanks for bringing it up!

    Stuart
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    I know if you use Wordpress, or Joomla or similar, you can get a plugin that will deal with the new legal requirement. Anna, I think you use Wix? I'm sure they must have something you can use?

    Downside: last time I checked, Wordpress plugin was £30. I resent paying money to comply with bollards*, so I haven't done it yet.... :lol:



    *forgive spelling error
  • anniem
    anniem Registered Posts: 1,326
    Hi Stuart

    That is really helpful.

    Actually, I did build my own website using www.wix.com, so it was very straightforward for a complete beginner - really was the first website I ever built. Problem is that I wasn't aware that I was actually doing any programming; I sort of suppose that it was already there lurking in the background?

    I did manage to somehow get my own website address and link it to the site (but can't honestly remember how I did that - so it must have been quite idiot proof :001_smile:).

    It was all going reasonably swimmingly as I just update it with new information periodically, then the ICO create a new rule I don't know how to implement! I have noticed that some websites do pop-ups (which I haven't a clue how to create) and so I just felt a bit out of my depth.

    Certainly updating MIP advice might be helpful. My first port of call for advice always seems to be the forum, as it is excellent, as proved again here on this thread! :thumbup:

    Anna
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • anniem
    anniem Registered Posts: 1,326
    Monsoon wrote: »
    I know if you use Wordpress, or Joomla or similar, you can get a plugin that will deal with the new legal requirement. Anna, I think you use Wix? I'm sure they must have something you can use?

    Downside: last time I checked, Wordpress plugin was £30. I resent paying money to comply with bollards*, so I haven't done it yet.... :lol:



    *forgive spelling error

    I think that's just mean, charging £30 because of the ICO rule. Cheeky bu**ers!

    Yes, wix - I will have a look and see if there is anything, but am hoping that just putting a couple of lines somewhere will mean that I comply with the legislation.
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
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