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TOPIC: EuroZone Cookie Law

EuroZone Cookie Law 2 years 3 months ago #6471

  • rsearle
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In response to Woody's question during the MJUG meeting tonight ...

Here's a recent SitePoint article by Craig Buckler summarising the operation of the new EuroZone Cookie Law. This article is mostly directed at UK site operators.

Here's another useful collection of articles published by Skiltide. In particular, this site clarifies that:
Does this only affect websites hosted in the EU?

The location of your hosting is irrelevant, but the location of your organisation is not. Your organisation must fall within the legal jurisdiction of the EU. Each member state has their own laws, which are based on the same EU directive, but may differ slightly.

For most small/medium organisations, being located in the EU will mean you must comply.

As far as I can tell, the EU Cookie Law does not affect organisations that are not based within EU jurisdiction states.

Cheers,

Russell
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EuroZone Cookie Law 2 years 2 months ago #6544

  • MaxTech
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Joomla extension - really nicely done - does everything required for euro cookie.
Check this post:
www.joomla.org.au/forum/joomlaoz-tips-an...for-joomla-v2-5-free
Founder & CEO @ molehill.com.au & successengine.com.au
Partner @ joostrap.com - Joomla! Website Templates & Responsive Web Design
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EuroZone Cookie Law 2 years 1 month ago #6578

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I totally agree with you, Russell. Posted elsewhere on this forum,
sozzled wrote:
FWIW, the "recent legislation" was enacted by the EU and does not apply to websites hosted outside EU countries (e.g. Australia).

In my opinion, the legislation is ill-conceived, non-enforceable and just plain bad. From a practical perspective, as someone who develops sites in Australia and the US, "cookie-warning" software is unnecessary. Let's face it: every Joomla site issues session cookies; Joomla can't work without it and, for that matter, most CMS systems cannot either. So what's the fuss all about?
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EuroZone Cookie Law 2 years 1 month ago #6579

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+1 to that.

But sadly the law is not unenforceable. All the EC has to do is to bring charges in the European Court of Justice, and they have already shown they are prepared to do that.

And let us not forget that no matter how ham-fisted this particular law may be, there are very serious privacy issues at stake, the whole area of privacy risks and protection is evolving chaotically, and every community needs effective and appropriate legislation.

Cheers,

Russell
Psicom
Last Edit: 2 years 1 month ago by rsearle.
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EuroZone Cookie Law 2 years 1 month ago #6581

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I'm in the same boat as you - not really relevant to me (or most of my clients).

If however, you had a site with a percentage of it's operation/sales being EU based, it would probably be good practice to deliver visitors based in the EU with the warning . . . . after all, they now probably EXPECT to see the warning and if they don't they may lose faith in the site. Additionally, you can use geo-location to only show the pop-up to requests from IPs within the EU.

This is similar to trust marks and the like . . .they don't mean anything, but they make a web visitor feel more confident about dealing with the website.

I think it is a matter of perception and best practice when selling top EU based customers . . . . regardless of whether you agree with it or not, if it increases trust in a brand/website it may make some extra money for your clients . . some of which they can then distribute to you for more work or for your troubles ;)
Founder & CEO @ molehill.com.au & successengine.com.au
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EuroZone Cookie Law 2 years 1 month ago #6583

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Max,

Sorry, but I have to disagree. This is not a matter of trust or any kind of implied commercial advantage, it's a simple matter of law. Compliance with applicable law does not make us virtuous, it is just an obligation.

If the business that operates the site is based in an EU jurisdiction state, then the site has to comply with the EU cookie law. If the business is not based within EU jurisdiction, it is not subject to the law and it can and should ignore it, on the grounds that applying an irrelevant law is an unjustified imposition on customers.

Why would it be good commercial practice to require site visitors to explicitly consent to your site's use of cookies if the site is not required to comply? Where is the evidence that this will increase sales? What if the site users don't consent? You would have to implement and support code on the site, to cater for use cases for which there is no demonstrable ROI. In addition, you either have to keep the Joomla! site and all its extensions running regardless of whether the site can use cookies or not for any given session, or else you have to explain to your customer why they should put up with the site not functioning properly for all those users who don't consent to cookies.

I would not be comfortable to recommend or charge my non-EU clients for this practice because I would not be able to defend it.

Cheers,

Russell
Psicom
Last Edit: 2 years 1 month ago by rsearle.
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EuroZone Cookie Law 2 years 1 month ago #6586

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rsearle wrote:
But sadly the law is not unenforceable.
I mean the EU law is unenforceable outside the EU's jurisdiction. There is no way that the US federal legislature will agree to enacting reciprocal legislation, any more than Australia would contemplate such a foolhardy scheme. Remember when the Australian Government tried to bring in measures to ban o'seas porn sites from being carried by Australian ISPs? Similarly, this kind of proposal (while it's not the same as censorship) would be doomed to failure amid accusations of "the nanny state" and wowserism.

What we are discussing here concerns the development of websites that are physically situated in the EU zone. The fact is that the internet knows few international political boundaries (with the possible notable exceptions of China where Facebook is banned) but, aside from these things, if a website is physically hosted in Australia and if, by chance, a user in Finland happens to find it, is it reasonable to expect that the EU will haul Australia's sorry arse into the International Court of Justice? Not bloody likely and, if such a thing happened, I would also suggest that Australia would vigorously defend such action merely because Nikki from Finland found and Australian quilt-making site that happened to have cookies ... and she wasn't forewarned. :D

The best way, in my opinion, for people in Australia who develop websites, is to comply with the provisions of the Australian Privacy Act and display, on the site home page, details of how they are complying with those things. That's what I do on all the websites that I develop and I think it's a good policy.

Great discussion! I'm enjoying every minute of it.
Last Edit: 2 years 1 month ago by sozzled.
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EuroZone Cookie Law 2 years 1 month ago #6587

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Agree 100%.

FWIW, I ensure that:

  • Every site I work on has at least two legal documents: a T&C statement and a privacy policy, and moreover that both documents are produced by practicing lawyers (but there are cheap online sources of quite adequate legal documents)
  • Links to both of these documents must appear in the footer on every page, and in all site maps
  • All new users must acknowledge the T&C document when they register for an account. Joomla! allows for this (including identification of the T&C document) in the User Profile plugin configuration.
  • A link to the privacy policy document must appear in every subscription form, e.g. for newsletters etc

Thanks ...

Russell
Last Edit: 2 years 1 month ago by rsearle.
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EuroZone Cookie Law 2 years 1 month ago #6588

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rsearle wrote:
Every site I work on has at least two legal documents: a T&C statement and a privacy policy, and moreover that both documents are produced by practising lawyers (but there are cheap online sources of quite adequate legal documents)
Quite right! You may be interested in how we've arranged this at the Kunena website.
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