I’ll get this out of the way first. I don’t have a cookies policy on any of my blogs or websites. The reason for that is because I refuse to acquiesce to the GDPR policy of the European Union. I live in the United States, I have very few people from Europe who visit any of my sites, and I’m not going to the trouble of putting something up that irritates me when I visit other websites.

okay cookies…

Of course I visit a lot of other websites and blogs, and if I’m not using Firefox I see these stupid cookies policies everywhere. That’s why I don’t use Chrome all that often, but my biggest problem is with mobile. I’ll be coming to that in a couple of minutes.

I understand that people want to try to do what they consider the right thing; I really do. Overall, I get why so many people have added a cookies policy. I don’t like that particular popup, but then again I have a problem with popups in general.

My dissatisfaction is twofold.

The first issue I have is when you can’t get rid of someone’s cookie policy. There’s supposed to be an X in the top right corner that you can click on to get rid of it. That’s not always present, so every once in a while you’re kind of stuck with it hanging there getting in the way.

Other problem is that more than half of the cookies policies I see don’t offer you the option to say no. If you read the GDPR policy, it said that you’re supposed to be able to allow people to decide they don’t want you to track them and thus they don’t have to accept your cookie policy.

Personally, I use Firefox most of the time, so I don’t have to worry about it all that often. I use the I Don’t Care About Cookies plugin, which blocks almost all cookie messages when I decided I actually want to see a website or blog. I get to make that decision because I’m already blocking javascript.

In those few times where I want to see an article on a site I’m visiting and turn javascript back on, and then have to see the cookie policy, I notice that sometimes all it says is “click button to accept”, without an option to click anything saying I don’t accept. This means that your policy is incorrect and invalid. If you’re trying to do it for the EU’s GDPR rule, you’re going to get flagged. Congratulations, you meant well but you got it wrong.

Now let’s talk mobile. This time, I have a two and a half fold problem.

sugar cookie

The first problem and a half is pretty much the same as I have with regular websites, that being not having the option to opt out of cookies and not having an X to click and close the thing. It’s possible that the size of the pop-up is such that the X doesn’t show. This tells me that some of you using the cookies popup haven’t actually looked at your mobile phone or your tablet to see if the X is there or not. That’s one of the problems I’ve had with a lot of people who put things on their website but never bothered to check and see what it looks like or whether it works. That’s very sloppy management.

My second gripe on mobile is my biggest gripe, that being the cookie policy showing up so big that it blocks everything else out. Once again, most of the time the only thing you can do is “accept” to get rid of it and no X to get out of it. The X might be there but the policy’s blocking everything; there’s no going forward, only accepting the policy or leaving.

I see this a lot on major article sites, magazine sites, sports sites, entertainment site and some news sites. I believe they think they’ve got you because they assume you’re going to crave their content so much that you’ll do anything to read it. I’m not the one, and I’m betting a lot of other people aren’t falling for it either.

There are lots of sites spouting the statistic that say that if people can’t access your site within 3 seconds they’re out of there. There’s no accessing a site if a cookie policy is blocking all of the content, especially if you’re trying to sell something or have ads on the site. Very few people are going to stick around dealing with your stupid cookies policy on their smartphone or tablet if they can’t figure out a way to either close it down or to not accept the cookies. Truthfully, I’m not even sure how cookies works on smartphones and tablets; I’ll wait for someone to tell me.

Right now most of these sites are lucky for two reasons.

One, Google’s not holding up their end of the promise that they were going to penalize sites for all these popups. You can bet that if the cookie policy is obtrusive, so is most of their other marketing efforts.

Two, many of these sites doesn’t need Google to bring them traffic. This means they’re trying to appease the EU and their GDPR rules… but most of them are getting it wrong.

Two questions: one, are you irked by how many sites you’re visiting that has this cookie thing popping up; two, are you running a cookie policy, and if so is it legit?

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