Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cookie Law (e-privacy directive) : examples, tools and scripts

A collection of links with information about the new cookie law, that is in force in the UK at the 26th of may, and other countries in the EU will follow shortly after that. I still hope, that at least, permission is not necessary for analytics cookies.

Plugins / Checkers

Plugins for browsers to see what cookies there are currently used at your website.

  • A Google Chrome plugin that gives you feedback about the usage of cookies at your site:

  • Another plugin for Google Chrome that gives a detailed report about the cookies your websites uses:


A few photoshopped possibilities can be found here.
Some live examples that I found so far:
  • The site below is using a nice mechanism. People are asked for consent, by a bar at top of the screen. But also a banner is shown at the site, telling the user it's status: Cookie status "opted-out". I think a creative and good example to remember people each time about their cookie status and hoping they change from opt-out, to opt-in. Especially when people have opt-ed in for cookies, I suggest not to show the banner. If people click at the banner or the bar above, a popup comes up with a clear explanation about the sites cookie policy. Interesting also that you can opt-in for multiple sites using the same plugin.
  • This site simply shows a bar on top of the screen:

  • This is a combination of a demo site and a script to make it work. It is from wolf software and a complete package.

There are 8 possible demo's giving you inspiration on how to ask permission. 
- A bar at top and when clicked a drop down with settings expands
- A small box that pop's up and when clicked a drop down with settings expands
- An "on click" change of the settings
- An overlay popup
- etc.
Interesting. many possibilities.

BT already is clearly giving the user control about cookies, by giving control via a link at the footer and is asking (although at the moment only shortly), via a nicely designed overlay permission for the use of cookies.

They also offer a real nice slider, to give control, with clear explanation and easy usage:

Tools/ Scripts that can be used for asking permission
  • The portent script (link below), shows an easy dialog box asking for permission. This script checks if a user is from the EU. Good not to bother users outside the EU with this stupid law.
  • As described above, wolf software has a nice package of scripts to give the user cookie control.
I tried to get cookie control working, but I did not succeed.
  • Cookieq, has a nice example that automatically translates the permission text if you are accessing from outside the UK. Good to remember for international sites.

I will ad more links to the list, when I find them. The best solution, in my opinion is a combination from all of these tools and examples. Be clear to the user about the cookies, not only in text, but also in video for example. If you have multiple sites, try to get permissions for all of the sites at once. If you have an international website, make choices for visitors outside the EU and make sure you have your opt-in text ready in multiple languages. 
Make a campaign plan for asking permission. E-mail marketing and social media could be well used for this.

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