URGENT MESSAGE: NEW UK LAW REGARDING TRACKING COOKIES!

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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URGENT MESSAGE FOR ALL UK USERS!

You will probably want to enquire about this article referring to the new UK Law on Tracking Cookies.

This is very important!

It would also be very hepful for Yola employees to help us understand where we stand!

(This is the article):
http://blog.silktide.com/2011/05/cook...

This is the official paperwork:
http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documen...

Kind Regards,
Andi North
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Andi North, Mangopear Media

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  • quite concerned about our Nanny state government!

Posted 7 years ago

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diane

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Hi, Andi,

I will need to do some checking on this. Please allow some time to investigate this. I do notice the deadline for compliance in this is May of 2012. Will get back to you.
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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Hi Andi

It looks like there is still a great deal of confusion on how this affects sites based outside of the UK, and how this law will be enforced. All we can do is keep an eye on it at this time.

The biggest issue for Yola users as far as I can tell is whether you will be allowed to use any kind of site analytics on your sites. We will see how this plays out and try to offer some level of general advice. However, do continue to do your own research as well.

Typically announcements like these are a bit sensational and it is often best to wait for the dust to settle and getting all the facts before taking any action.
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Andi North, Mangopear Media

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Thanks Monique,

I just saw it and thought how can I disable all of the site tracking? Taking the Yola site tracking out of th code would be impossible.

I just thought that I would make Yola aware of the situation so that they can help the less advanced users make their site 'legal'.

I just happened to glance upon a link on the bbc website and thought that I should read it. Three hours later, I decided that I should go to sleep and think about it in the morning, when I had chance to think about it logically and think about logical steps to making my sites compliant yet good looking and well functioning for the users!

I just think that the UK has become a nanny state and that this type of regulation is going several steps too far!

I am also wondering what the internet would look like if it were run by Politicians!

If you give people the question "Would you like to use Cookies" then they will answer 'No' and this will mean that Site Tracking would become useless and that there would be no point in even installing them!

Although, I find it very helpful how the British government gave us lots of notice between the legislation being created and it becoming law (just three weeks) and how they have advertised this new law.

And just to clarify, the deadline is May 2012 but they expect all sites to be compliant well before this deadline. I would think that Yola should have this accomplished by January 2012 so that there is no doubt that all sites are compliant.

I would like to say sorry if I scared any UK users but this law is important and people should take notice that this could affect them.

Kind Regards,

Andi
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Nathan, Champion

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I'm not in the UK, but will I still be able to use cookies? I'm in the USA. I really hope I can still use cookies or that would be not good! :| They're going way to far with this. I wonder if Facebook will be affected by this? Or is this only for sites that are built by people in the UK?

Thanks,
Nathan
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diane

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Hi, Nathan,

This is only for UK sites.
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Nathan, Champion

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Ah, I see. Thanks Diane. :)
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Natalie Edwards

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Has anything been decided on this topic yet? I am creating a business website as we speak and have been reading about the cookie consent and as there is only 5 months left before most websites will be illegal in the UK, im interested in knowing what we should be advised to do.

I took this off a BBC report -
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has been charged with enforcing the new rules, when they are drawn up.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham admitted he is torn between the needs of industry and the rights of consumers.

Mr Graham said that the one year's grace he was offering to UK online firms "did not let everyone off the hook", hinting that he would take a dim view of firms which had done nothing by this time next year.

He also said that the ICO website was taking the lead by introducing a header bar giving users information about the cookies it uses and offering choices about how to manage them.

"I am not saying that other websites should necessarily do the same. Every website is different and prescriptive and universal 'to do' lists would only hinder rather than help businesses to find a solution that works best for them and their customers," he said.

Is there something in development at Yola?
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Gop

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There has been nothing mentioned that I have noticed Natalie. Other than Analytics I am unaware of Yola built sites using cookies from within the building.

If you use advertising from external sources of course that would need to be looked at but that really isn't part of the Yola sphere.
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David

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Just bumping this to the front of the queue as I think an updated Yola perspective on this is required.
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David

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Having investigated this a bit more I am currently re-writing my privacy policy and I require the following information on cookies Yola uses on my site

The purpose of:

pixel.yola.com
Coyote-2-ac9068e

scorecardresearch.com
UID and UIDR

I assume these below are for tracking visitor numbers? Please clarify.

_qca
synthasiteVisitorId
synthasiteVisitId
_unam

Thanks
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David

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This must have slipped through so just bumping it back up.
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Sanja, Official Rep

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Hi David,

Thanks for bumping it back up. This is not my area of expertise. I have sent out an email to my colleagues who I hope will be able to assist further. Thanks for your patience.
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debbym

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Did you get an answer to this please?
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David

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Hi Debbym, no still patiently waiting.
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diane

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Hi, debbym,

This is being looked into. Thanks for your patience.
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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Although Yola is not an EU domiciled company, and therefore would not be required to comply, we do take privacy rights and trends seriously. Further, in the EU Cookie Law's current format, certain basic useful functionality on our EU customers sites (for instance Facebook like buttons or Google Analytics tracking) would require obtrusive op-in procedures. This is a fundamental issue that will affect the vast majority of EU websites (over 90%). In its current format, we do not support the Law, and are actively anticipating and monitoring further practical guidance from the DCMS and ICO prior to the May, 2012 cut-off.
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David

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Debbym, technically UK site are illegal now as this law was introduced in May 2011. the ICO have allowed UK based sites a years 'breathing space' to iron out any technical difficulties etc before implication.
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debbym

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Thanks David - I was just wondering what action Yola planned in the event of the DCMS and ICO not coming up with a further extension to the deadline. Anticipation and monitoring is ok but does Yola have a fall back position?
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David

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I don't believe a further extension will be granted and any UK based sites not following the ICO's guidelines by May this year will be libel to prosecution.
Saying that I don't see any evidence yet of any UK sites following these guidelines, my plan at present is to anticipate rather then implement at this stage hence why I need my questions answered. There seems to be a lack of definitive guidance from the ICO, I would like to see a 'you will do this, this and this etc rather then guidelines which you have to try and interpret yourself.
As for Yola's position my interpretation is that it would be for site owners to introduce this to their sites although I would anticipate that Yola being a conciousness hosting and website design provider would provide some guidance on this
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debbym

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One would have assumed that this will indeed be Yola's position. We shall wait patiently for guidance.
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Gop

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Hello David and Debby,

Has there been any mention or lobbying for a civil disobedience strategy by UK web-site owners or is the law itself popular enough with the population generally that it is perceived as good and protective? (Which seems to be the momentum behind it and the law makers turning away from aspects of business ability)

I certainly believe that you need to be prepared with a contingency rather than being struck-off and it would be unthinkable to be in that position if a hosting company doesn't have facilities for their customers to opt out of silent cookies or clients/customers believing that they can simply turn off cookies or advise their viewers to turn off cookies and for the site to be dysfunctional. It will have an impact on the current methods of analytics for sure but I am fairly confident that there will be some novel method for determining data without the use of sneaky cookies. There is a big industry of online analytics who won't be prepared to just ditch their business because a traditional strategy is no more.

Please keep pushing this and have an input into the development of the ideas with Yola, as the ideas need to develop on this rather than an 11th hour solution that may not be suited for you UK people but being your only option or worse, not available and some sites being scrubbed out randomly by the UK authorities. I think it would be very difficult and extremely bureaucratic to come back online after having been disqualified. You just don't need that as business people who are optimising and personalising their business sales and marketing through a web-site.

I don't believe that this is simply a UK thing. When this is up and going fully there will be other countries that will follow suit so the impact will be greater than EU companies. It's a simple vote catcher and is really only relevant to people who are creating sites or related businesses.
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David

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Seven days and counting, please could somebody answer the question:

What is the purpose of the cookies listed above?
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David

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Not only is it unprofessional to not answer a question which has been asked its also rude and I had, from past experiences expected better.
I'm left with only an assumption to make, which is, you have something to hide and do not want the wider forum aware of what data your cookies actually collect from us on your behalf.
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Andi North, Mangopear Media

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Hi David,

I think the reason why Yola are taking a while to answer is because they have to make sure that their responce is the correct one! The have to make sure that it is legal, physically possible and responsible.

This exact question has been asked on the Google Analytics forum almost a year ago - with no responce from Google yet! This is a tricky law that should never be implemented. For the moment, there is not too much to worry about - they will not fine Millions of websites for this, as no-one understands what to do or not to do.

I for one am not bothering at the moment. I will wait until nearer the time and see what sites such as www.bbc.co.uk, Governmental websites and MP websites.

Andi
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David

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Hi Andi
My question wasn't that I wanted an explanation on the practical implementation of this law, it was and still is the purpose of the cookies Yola uses on our sites, I would have thought this to be a simple question for Yola to answer, I could have asked this question at any time regardless of this new legislation. As stated above, I can for the moment, only assume.
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Nathan, Champion

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I believe that the "synthasiteVisitorId " and "synthasiteVisitId" cookies are for the site analytics and to give each visitor a unique ID. I think that the "_unam" cookie is to determine if that visitor has been to the site or not yet. I'm not sure about the "_qca" one. The one from pixel.yola.com might be some type of PHP or other programming language session ID cookie but I'm not sure. The UID cookie is probably also for the analytics. (it looks like it stands for "User ID") Please don't quote me on this information as I am not sure if it is correct - it is just what I think they are.

In my opinion, this new cookie law is completely insane. Cookies do not harm us in any way. Maybe they can block the advertisement cookies but blocking analytic cookies and other cookies is not good. (important cookies would be login cookies, analytic cookies, user ID cookies, shopping cart cookies, etc.)

Those cookies do not collect anything from us - they aren't allowed to. Cookies can't do anything and cannot collect anything from us. It's easier to understand when you use cookies and set them yourself on other types of sites (I set cookies myself on my other sites). Hopefully Yola will give an answer to you though so you understand what they are used for. But I can assure you that they are not collecting information from us without our consent.

If you don't understand what cookies are (or the purpose of them) maybe this will help: http://www.allaboutcookies.org/

Nathan
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Earl

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Also, to be fair, most of that stuff is managed waaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy down in the gubbins of the site server usually, I wouldn't be surprised if some poor Yola techie has it sitting on his desk with bloodstains on it from the effort he's put in trying to find out the answer.
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Gop

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555!
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Jonathan Hitchcock

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Hi David,

My name is Jonathan, and I run the platform and operations team at Yola.

To answer your question about the cookies on your site, they are used for the following purposes:

* pixel.yola.com - Coyote-2-ac9068e

The servers behind pixel.yola.com are where the site analytics service runs, which collects information on how many visits your site has, so you can view the graphs in MyYola. There are several of these servers, because (as you can imagine) tracking all the visits across all Yola sites results in a large amount of traffic. As such, these servers are behind a loadbalancer, and it is this loadbalancer that sets the Coyote cookie so that it can maintain what is known as a "sticky session" - sending the same visitors to the same back-end server, to maintain a consistent session.

* scorecardresearch.com - UID and UIDR

These are not Yola cookies, as you can see - they are set by the scorecardresearch.com server, which I believe deals with some "Share This" widgets. The UID and UIDR cookies are associated with comScore, and used to get a measurement of your audience size, and its preferences - there is more information here: http://scorecardresearch.com/about.aspx

Finally:

* _qca, _unam, synthasiteVisitorId, and synthasiteVisitId

You were correct about these - they are used by Google Analytics, and by our own site analytics software, in order to gauge the visits and traffic on your site.

I hope this answers your question - let me know if you need any more information!

Cheers,
-Jonathan
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David

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Thanks Jonathan, that's exactly the information I was looking for
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Nathan, Champion

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Thanks, Jonathan, for all of that helpful information.
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satidents

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The deadline has now passed. My website is based in the EU, what should I do?
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Laura Thomas, Social Media Coordinator

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Please see the latest post here for the most up to date information we have available on this law.