Miscellaneous

GDPR/CCPA/EU Cookie Law – Importance of Cookie Consent

Have you ever visited a website that asked for cookie consent? If yes, you must have wondered what these cookies mean. Putting it in simple words, cookies or a cookie is a small text file that covers your data, such as username, password, IP address, and more. They are used to comprehend your system as you use the network. 

The process in terms of how cookies work is quite quick and instant. Generally, cookies are designed to recollect and notify useful information about visitors to the website. Thus, when you revisit a site, your browser sends the data back to that website. 

For instance, if you visit an eCommerce website, the store will record the products you have searched for and ordered. This way, when you’ll return to the platform, your browser will notify the site to read cookies. 

Based on this, the store will recommend you more products from the same seller or similar to the type and/or category. All of this activity remains invisible to you unless you set the preferences to be alerted whenever a cookie is stored. 

Laws Around Storing Cookies:

Back in 2011, the European Union (EU) agreed that internet users had a right to know how and what cookies are the websites using. This also created the need to opt-out of storing cookies whenever wanted. 

Thus, the EU passed a Directive 2009/136/EC that is known as the Cookie Law. This one is mandated for all those countries that are a member of the EU. This cookie policy simply means that the websites that originated in any of the EU countries will have to take consent from their visitors before storing or retrieving any information from their devices. 

Penalty for Violating Cookie Laws:

Keeping in mind that the EU Cookie Legislation isn’t a law, it hasn’t specified any penalties. Rather, it allows the local governments to come up with their own rules and consequences. Owing to this, the possible penalties that you might face for non-compliance would depend on your country. However, in most cases, not complying will lead to:

  • Providing Information: You may have to provide certain information to the local regulator, such as the type of cookies that your site is using, links to the information section on your site, or anything else that helps determine whether your website is complying or not. 
  • Making Changes: If your site is found to be a non-compliant one and it hasn’t created a major loss to anybody, you’d have to make changes as asked and demanded. 
  • Enforcement: If it comes to this situation, the local regulator will provide you with certain actions to be completed within a time frame. Not doing so may lead to criminal charges. 
  • Fines: In some situations, you might also have to pay a hefty fee out of your pocket. As mentioned above, guidelines and the maximum amount of fine vary according to the country. 

How to Manage Cookies on WordPress website?

Whether or not cookies affect you solely depends upon if your website is using the same. Most probably, even without your realization, your site would be doing so. In fact, most of the latest content management systems, including WordPress, use cookies to verify who you are and to allow you to login or track comments. 

Basically, cookies that are needed to fulfill requests of the site visitors don’t require specific user consent; while others, including eCommerce stores and platforms that use statistics do. As far as complying is concerned, the EU hasn’t outlined any explicit guidelines in this matter yet. Hence, the way you obey is mainly up to you. Here are some of the options that you may consider:

  • Gaining Consent:

According to the law, obtaining user consent before putting WordPress cookies on their devices is a must. Based on the interpretation by your country, you might merely need to get an implied consent from the user. 

One of the ways to do so is to display a concise message through a non-obstructive way to let them know that cookies are used. After a few seconds or a minute, you may make this message disappear. If the user continues to browse through your site, you get the consent. 

This method is used by the UK government. However, before you go ahead with it, you can check with the local regulator to make sure that it meets the requirements.

  • Informing Users of Data Usage:

Apart from acquiring consent, the law also needs that you inform users regarding:

  • The type of data you’re collecting
  • How you’ll be using the acquired data
  • How users can control or delete cookies 

The basic way to do so is by pointing it out in the Terms and Conditions or Privacy Policy documents on the website. Also, it’s recommended that you link it from every page of your website. 

How Can a WordPress Plugin Help You Do This Easily?

One of the best things about WordPress is that you always find a plugin to accomplish any goal. As far as the cookie is concerned, WordPress Cookie Consent Plugin for GDPR & CCPA by WPeka is there to help you make the website compliant with the EU cookie law. 

Adequate for the guidelines and requirements of varying countries, this plugin helps you generate consent notices according to:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • Australia’s Privacy Principles (AAP)
  • The Brazilian General Data Protection Law (LGPD)

Apart from these, this WordPress cookie plugin also works in accordance with additional laws, such as DPA, DSGVO, CNIL, PECR, and other privacy, data, and cookie laws. 

How the Plugin Helps WordPress Site Owners?

This WPeka plugin helps you comply with the policies of GDPR in plenty of ways, such as:

  • Acquiring categorized content from visitors to allow the usage of cookies
  • Let visitors change or revoke their consent anytime
  • Store the consent log and easily search whenever needed
  • Save time by instantly detecting cookies of the website with a click
  • Automatically get cookie details of the third-party
  • An easy-to-use interface to add cookie details on the website
  • Customize every part of your cookies

An Overview of Features:

  • Consent Banners and Notices:

Whether you’re complying by the regulations of GDPR or CCPA, this plugin helps you create a customized notice banner, defining all the cookie details and personal information that your site is collecting. Along with that, you can also create a Do Not Sell My Personal Information opt-out link as needed by the CCPA and display it on the site. 

  • One-Click Scan:

If you’re currently having a tough time searching for cookies, this plugin is here for your rescue. Making scanning a more straightforward job, the tool helps you look out for all the website cookies, including the third-party ones, and other collected data, such as IP address, etc., just with a click; thus, completely eradicating manual efforts. 

  • Geo-Targeted Display:

If your website is welcoming visitors from across the world, you might be facing a bit of difficulty in terms of displaying cookies. However, to make things easier, this plugin allows you to control the places where you’d want to display the banners. Whether to everyone or just in some geographical regions, the choice remains yours. 

  • Revoke or Change Consent:

With this plugin, you can make it easy for your visitors to revoke or change their consent at any given time without facing any hassles.

The Freemium Plugin:

Considering the ease of use that this WP Cookie Consent plugin offers, it has quickly become a hot pick among users. If you’re looking forward to using this one, know that the tool is available in both free and premium versions. 

While the free version can be downloaded from WordPress.org, the pro version can be purchased by paying a meager amount of $17/year for a single site license, $37/year for 3 sites license and $67/year for 10 sites license.

Conclusion:

Now that you’ve understood the importance of cookies and consent on the website, implementing the same, by keeping necessary guidelines and requirements in mind is quite necessary. So, if you think your website will be operating in EU nations, get your notices up on the website right away. You can use the free version of WPeka cookie plugin and then take the pro version once satisfied with its performance. 

Let us know what you think about this in the comments section below.

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