Cookie Regulations For Bloggers

On the 26th May 2011 a new EU cookie law came into force yet it amazes me that very few sites have implemented it. This law is not restricted to companies and organisations it also applies to private individuals who blog. Blogging sites like WordPress will  use cookies to verify who you are. They are used to identify logged in users and/or  “commenters”.

It is worth reminding readers that these regulations require website visitors to give their consent before any cookies are downloaded onto their computers or mobile platforms (phones, tablets etc). This consent must involve some form of communication where the individual knowingly indicates their acceptance. This may involve clicking an icon and/or sending an email or subscribing to a service. The crucial consideration is that the individual must fully understand that by the action in question they will be giving consent.

Most blogging providers will now have plug-ins to support this legislation, figure 1 illustrates a sample of those available for WordPress. Strategic Planet uses “Cookie Confirm” by Fish Can’t Whistle.

Figure 1: Cookie Plugins from WordPress

For those unfamiliar with cookies they are small files, typically of letters and numbers, downloaded on to a device when the user accesses certain websites. These cookies are sent back to the originating website on each subsequent visit. Cookies allow a website to recognise a user’s device.

The full regulations can be found on The Information Commissioner’s Office website. :

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Dr Alan Shaw is a Senior Lecturer and Marketing consultant focusing on a range of sectors. His main interests are in strategy development, social marketing, digital marketing, advertising, consumer behaviour and marketing application.