WordPress.com new cookies widget

EU Cookie widget

EU Cookie Law widget screenshotOn 30 June 2015 WordPress.com introduced a new EU Cookies Directive widget you can activate on your WordPress.com website/blog, though I’ve not seen an announcement about it. You’ll find it under Appearance/Widgets.

If you’re a WordPress.com user you may have grappled with how best to deal with a Cookies and privacy policy on your site.

It’s a legal requirement to have a cookies and privacy policy on your website if you use cookies — which WordPress sites and pretty much all sites do.

The rules are set out on the Information Commissioner’s website: Cookies and similar technologies.

Even if your site works without cookies, arguably you should have a policy to explain this, otherwise how will people know? But I’m not a lawyer and I will leave you to check that one with the Information Commissioner or your favourite legal eagle.

On WordPress.org you can add various plugins to gain explicit consent, but on WordPress.com the most you could do was gain implicit consent by having a page to your Cookies and privacy policy clearly linked from your home page.

ICO BlogThe Information Commissioner was happy with implicit consent for most circumstances. Again this is explained on the Information Commissioner’s website: Cookies and similar technologies.

The Information Commissioner uses WordPress.com for his own Information Commissioner’s blog, so we all have some reassurance that WordPress.com is a platform that uses cookies responsibly, and you’ll see at the bottom left of his home page how he uses the implicit consent approach.

The new WordPress.com EU Cookies Law widget now also allows you to go one step further and gain explicit consent.

You may well also want your own privacy policy — there’s more to privacy than just cookies, and if your site is connected to social media and other site you may need to explain that relationship.

EU Cookie Law widget fullWordPress has more on these issues in their support forum page: EU Cookie Law Widget where they also explain the optional settings for the widget.

I will reiterate what WordPress says on that page:

“… it is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with the relevant applicable laws in your jurisdiction. This widget is designed to help you take steps towards this, but is not offered as a guaranteed or complete solution for compliance with the ePrivacy Directive

For many people though, this new widget will be a useful step forward.

For others, of course, who are more relaxed about cookies, this kind of pop-up banner can be an annoyance and I would be interested to hear your feedback.

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