Arrrrgh! How many times have I seen something like:
Every time I go to a new website, up it pops… Engulfing part or the whole screen, obscuring the information, forcing me to make some on the spot decision and possibly even trying to train me in the wonders of cookies. Yep, you guessed it… the one above is ours, which at some point or another you saw and… what did you do?
But..."It's the law" you know!
Yes, absolutely. It’s the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), or ‘pecker’, to be precise. But that doesn’t stop it being irritating.
The problem is that in the process of informing a website visitor in a compliant manner we are all contributing to obfuscating the message. That, in turn, defeats the core purpose of the PECR which is to ensure that people have the privacy that they deserve and desire.
The application of this law has made every website point at the problem and now the majority of people just get rid of it quickly, usually by pressing an accept button.
Keeping your PECR up... to code
Therefore, this irritating internet interruption is there to show that an organisation:
- is open and clear about how it uses ‘online identifiers’, like cookies
- where possible, gives the user a chance of selecting in which ways they wish to participate and share their data
- gains the correct consent for processing the website visitors personal data
- There shouldn’t be any bias in the options available to the user. for example, buttons to accept, reject or manage the cookies should be equally sized and weighted.
- If a user ignores the consent request, it does not mean that they have agreed anyway. A positive acceptance is required to use any non-essential cookies. In the meantime, they may suffer a less-desirable experience.
- You need to consider the use of all cookies you use, even if your site didn’t set them up. So if you use things like tracking pixels, you need consent to use that information for your site
So what's the point?
Well, mainly, I got it off my chest.
Is it irritating? Yes! Is it legally required? Absolutely! Is there a better way? Now there’s the question.
We could improve the general education of users. That could help everyone understand what is possible with a cookie, but is unfeasible to effectively deliver to every internet user.
How about eliminating cookies from your website? That is very possible, but would make repeat visits to the same website a poorer experience as none of your settings would be remembered, for example.
Something else… any ideas? We’d love to hear your ideas. However, in the meantime, better get on top of your cookie compliance.