Having put my head in the sand about this EU cookie directive and hoping it would go away, I'm beginning to realise just how serious the situation is. My site uses Google Analytics, and I serve advertising through a variety of advertising agencies as well as through Adsense, all of which presumably drop their own cookies.
This from the ICO, the body who is in charge of enforcing the directive in the UK:
The deadline for compliance for all UK websites is now 26th May 2012. I haven't seen many websites which are complying, but the ICO itself is running a banner along the top of their website asking visitors to check a box. [ico.gov.uk
...] My reaction? Ummmm, let's see .... no. And I'm a webmaster.
So I'm going to have to work out how to put the message for appropriate EU visitors on my site, once I've worked out how to isolate the cookies that I would need to ask permission for. I'm going to have to come up with a way of not tracking, via Analytics, people who choose not to opt in (I read an estimate that suggests only 10% will). Technically all of this is way beyond me, so I will need to find the means to outsource at a very lean time.
I have found a few companies online offering Cookie Directive solutions. One asked me to download a plug-in and visit every page of my website, collecting information about all the cookies I run. I could spend the rest of the year doing that. I have a good few thousand pages.
I have no idea what happens as regards the advertising that is served on the site, especially as more and more ads are "personalised". If I don't get permission for each and every cookie, does that mean I am responsible for whatever cookies the ad agencies place via my site? Will people continue to visit and browse my site with a scary "cookie" message across the top?
With potential fines of up to £500,000 this is no laughing matter. I admit to being completely out of my depth. Honestly what with the last year of coping with Panda and now this, I feel like throwing in the towel, and just closing down after 11 years on the net.
Incidentally, I was speaking to a couple of other UK webmasters recently and they weren't even aware of the Directive.
Can I ask what other webmasters are planning to do?