Did you know that from 26th May 2012, the “EU cookie law” came into force?

While I am not a lawyer, and do not offer legal advice, my understanding of the new law is that visitors from the EU visiting your website need to be given a warning that cookies are used on the site, and the option to opt out of them.

There has been much discussion in the UK and beyond about how websites will comply with this new law, and if in fact anyone will be rigorously policing the law.

The law seems to be vague on sites hosted outside the EU, so it will be hard for webmasters and bloggers to understand if they need to worry about this new law and comply.

While I am based in the UK, and my server is based in the US (thanks WebHostingBuzz), I’ve taken the view that LondonCalling.co should be fully compliant with the new law and set an example to other bloggers in the UK.

I was looking around for a suitable WordPress plugin to ensure the site complied with the EU directive.  Many of the plugins I tested simply provided popup to ALL users, which is not ideal as the law only applies to EU country visitors.

Today I stumbled across Cookillian.  This seems like the best plugin for a number of reasons.

  1. A really neat user interface allowing a lot of customisation

  2. Importantly, you can choose which visitors (based on geolocating the IP address) receive the popup

  3. It provides analytics as to which countries have been presented the pop-up and what the opt-in/opt-out ratio was

The pop-up that UK visitors see when visiting this site is shown below – click for a larger version.

The cookies I use on this site consist only of analytics – GetClicky, Google Analytics, Quantcast and cookies required by WordPress to make the site function.

As I have no advertising on the site, I am not setting cookies for selling ads, so you should be comfortable saying “Yes, I’m happy with that” knowing I am not going to be re-targeting you with ads until you are 90.

Why do I use cookies at all?

As an author, I like to know what content is resonating so I can write better articles for my audience.  As such, I use live analytics from GetClicky, Google Analytics and Qantcast to give me a broad view of who is visiting the site, and what you are looking at.

I’m hoping that by highlighting this issue it will prompt other UK bloggers to review their own situation and see if they need to implement a WordPress plugin like Cookillian or one of the other solutions available.