UPDATE 16/03/2014: The cookie law is dead in the water. I've removed the little widget from my website that requests consent as the technology behind it was actually holding back some of the features I wanted to add. In short, if you don't like cookies but you want to look at my website, tough titties! Very professional of me, I know. The bare minimum requirement from me legally is to explain to the end-user what cookies are and inform why my website uses them, which I have done extensively via this page.
Everyone loves cookies! Except for Hitler, or diabetics. Or, in the worst case scenario, diabetic Hitler.
Unfortunately, governing bodies are set up to be diametrically opposed to anything decent, good and wholesome, so the EU have decided to bring in legislation against cookies. On May 26th 2011 the UK brought this law into effect, meaning that cookies are now illegal.
No, I'm talking about something the web has been using for yonks. Germany have got their pants in a twist because they're all worried about data privacy and shit.
Do you want to know what a cookie is? It's a little text file that gets stored on your machine that contains various information, depending on what it's being used for. Common uses include:
It's the last two that has the EU concerned, so they've just decided to make an integral part of how the internet works illegal and damn the consequences. I don't know about you, but I'm all for targeted advertising. I get fed up of seeing that animated gif of a cartoon woman with a pot belly slimming down that claims "1 tip for a flat belly" (personally I think she looks happier with a bit of meat on her bones anyway), or that other one about a "mother's secret to removing wrinkles".
Of the twenty seven or so members of the EU, the UK is one of three EU members stupid enough to actually act on this EU legislation. This is presumably because half the people running the country barely know how to use a typewriter or wipe their arse, let alone use or understand this new fangled thing called "the internet". I think the fact the rest of the EU members can't be bothered should be a fairly good indication of how much of a threat cookies are.
I've ran a test on my site for cookies, and there's a whole bunch there that even I don't know what they do exactly. The following cookies run but I'm not going to ask for consent for them because as far as I'm concerned they come under "required for website to work/provide a service" clause of the law:
I'm not even sure the cookie law applies to this site, as it appears to be aimed at businesses. However, I'm not taking the risk or a half a million pound fine that I couldn't afford to pay off in my lifetime, thankyouverymuch. That's another problem, this law is just too vague.
The irony is, if I really wanted to track people visiting the site, I could set up a rudimentary PHP script that logs what operating system you're using, your ip address, what your host name is, what port you're using and a whole bunch of other neat stuff. The best part? As long as I don't use a cookie (which I wouldn't), it would be entirely legal. Hell, most servers have logs built in that capture this information anyway!
In all honesty, I don't care what piece of shit computer you're using so I don't log that, but I am interested to see if I'm getting visitors, hence the Google Analytics code.
Frankly, if you're that worried about cookies, you're clearly an uninformed, reactionary berk and I don't want you visiting my site anyway. Any smart person would just allow the damn things and then the internet can get back to running as it should.
Incidentally, there's an option on your browser to delete all cookies and anti-virus software such as AVG often flags if a tracking cookie gets set (it's actually a complete ball-ache considering the amount of times it pops up). That's how much of a threat they are. They're so much of a threat that you can delete them from your machine manually.
Geez, you're a paranoid one. Here's some reading material - have a look through and decide for yourself:
Glad you've come around to my way of thinking! Have a cookie.
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