Is Your Cookie Policy Correct?

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?

15 thoughts on “Is Your Cookie Policy Correct?”

  1. Good for you! I’ve been ignoring any of this stuff on my blog. I’m not sure what anyone can do if we don’t play along. What? Is the European internet police going to arrest me? Will they get my blog taken down? Maybe that would be good so I can get more other stuff done in my life.

    I don’t want my site to be a hassle and I don’t want to hassle with visiting other sites. Maybe I need to think about all this stuff you’ve brought up, but then again I guess I can wait.

    Arlee Bird

    1. Arlee, the only difference I can see between your blog and mine is that you’re on a Google platform, and they’re already under assault by the EU. I would expect that if it involved you at all the move would come from Google to handle it… which might irk their users, but money is money. I think it was a poorly thought out policy and its implementation was ragged, even if they first mentioned it two years ago. They think they’ve protected privacy, but what they’ve done is created a worse online experience overall.

  2. What Arlee said. I have been ignoring everyone except the FTC. I do NOT want them banging down my door. LOL

    I believe we are in a blog bubble. Not so much where huge businesses are concerned, but folks like you and me, who just want to use a blog to drive traffic. The GDPR may be the straw that bursts the bubble.

    Here’s what’s going to happen: Internet communications protocol is going to evolve. The whole reason for cookies is that servers have no other way of knowing who or, more correctly, which computing device has been served which web pages, files or other consumable content. It would be the equivalent of your having two dozen identical cell phones on your desk, each in various conversations with two dozen different people!

    The move to two-factor authentication and password-free sign-ins may be the vanguard of a more robust two-way connection between server and client. Good-bye, cookies. Good-bye, Javascript! Good-bye, all the businesses whose only purpose is to separate blog operators from their money just to facilitate connections.

    And, good riddance, I say!



    1. Interesting stuff. I think the GDPR is going to affect a lot of the top online moneymakers more than folks like us. As I wrote in a previous post, my European traffic is just under 2%. I may not be a math god (anymore lol), but I’m not going through the effort and the potential of irking folks like me by adding stupid cookie warnings; just ain’t gonna happen. BTW, I bet you (and no one else lol) has checked out my privacy page:

  3. Thanks for providing such a great addon “I don’t care about cookies”. This is a great idea and I’m so going to use it! It’s really going to help me.

  4. Cookie is the most irritating thing of which I also want to escape from. There should be the denying option in the pop-up so that it would be declined. Because many people try to abstain from the cookies policies.
    Thanks for sharing an article and make us familiar with the strict policies adopted by many websites. Keep sharing article Mr. Mitch. It was great to read your article.

    1. I’m hopeful that more people give us the option of opting out of cookies, but I’d be happier with an option that doesn’t force you to choose either way just to see the content.

  5. You explain exactly why I’m hesitant to add GDPR and I am not sure that this will be an ‘enforced’ issue. Maybe we’ll see something down the road but for now I’m holding out.

    1. It might be an enforced issue in the EU, but it’ll never be enforced in the U.S. Even if the EU decided to block those of us who don’t comply, my traffic won’t take a drastic hit because of it.

      1. Great point, I hadn’t considered that if the EU did block traffic that it would have a minimal effect on my site.

  6. Ha ha! Loved this so much. Being in the UK, I have complied with the laws, but it does irk me so much. Thank you for sharing why you have decided to not do this, and for so many brilliant pictures of cookies!

    1. I love sharing pictures of cookies; they’re not always appropriate to the topic though lol If I was closer to the EU then I might think about using it. I’m glad it’s not a concern I have to deal with.

  7. Hehehe even I don’t think I should not have a GDPR compliant policy as I live in India. Why should I really bother.

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