The Cookie Policy Popup and Your Lack of Choice

Have you noticed the annoying Cookie Policy popup about how websites track cookies? Click for an explanation, why you need one on your blog, and your lack of choice when landing.on a site. Blogging tips, Blogs, bloggers, social media, transparency, GDPR #blogtips #bloggingtips #gdpr #cookiepolicy #popups

Have you noticed that annoying cookie policy popup letting you know that websites track data? It’s at the bottom of this post. This is a rant about what it means, why you need to include one on your blog and your actual choices. Nothing will change anytime soon.

I first noticed the popup when surfing (is that still a thing?) the web and landed on a blog post. Clicking from the post, I thought, “Oh, no! Now I’ll have to uncache my cookies! I hope I clicked away in time.” *insert rapid heart beat here*

Guess what? Whether or not you clicked the popup to accept, the site already collected your cookies. It’s really a notification, not a choice. Caching information is what Google does. After the EU passed the General Data Protection Regulation last year, AKA, GDPR, it has become mandatory to let readers know that data is being collected by the way of cookies.

The new GDPR rules ask for full transparency.

I found this website explaining them. This site has the popup too. My biggest takeaway, (from skimming) is websites wouldn’t work properly without cookies.

Most websites track cookies. It tracks your interests, where you’re from, your sex, etc. This is important sites can provide customers the right product. I make note of what resonates with readers by checking stats then post popular subject matter at an appropriate time of day when they might read it.

There is a really good reason why you should “accept” the popup.

“But you just told us we don’t have a choice?”

To get rid of the popup notice so it doesn’t pop up the next time you stop by. I hate popups, don’t you?

“What happens if I take down my cookie-accepting popup?”

There is a threat of some kind of fine. What kind? Rumor has it, from $500 to over $1000 for bloggers. Thanks for the info, Hugh! The blog posts I found when researching this topic still had their popup so I’m keeping mine.

I’m a rule follower. I don’t want detention and I don’t want someone slapping a humongous fine on my blog. Since I have readers from the EU, I’ll keep my annoying popup.

Google fined

On January 21st, 2019, the French Supervisory Committee fined Google 51 Million Euro for not complying with the GDPR. I think that’s a bigger fish to toss into the proverbial frying pan since that’s who’s really benefitting from “one-stop shopping.”

I loved that one of the groups trying to stop cookie-gathering is called, NOYB. None of your business. One of my grandma’s favorite expressions – MYOB – Mind your own business.

How about the readers who pay extra to get rid of popups? Is it on them to know about cookie-tracking? I guess so.

Here’s a free blocker from Chrome. I’m not installing it since it will probably mess up my search. I want to search. I don’t care about cookies.

So in the meantime, I’m tired of seeing the cookie popup disclaimers.

I GET IT! 

If I research “staying in a yurt while vacationing in Alaska,” then “Yurts in Alaska” will appear in ads on websites, until I search “best dog food for Bichons” and so on to infinity and beyond.

On top of the popups telling me about Yurts in Alaska, now I get the popup disclaimer about the Cookie Tracking! With all the popup ads within the text and on the sidebar, AND the addition of the popup on the bottom warning me about the cookie ad popups, I can’t read any information on some blog posts. GAH!

I’m not kidding.

There have been several times recently where less than a half inch of text appeared and I clicked off the site.

But not before it tracked me.

What the GDPR should be telling people is how to avoid tracking:

Don’t want anyone tracking your cookies?

Drum roll, please:

Use Incognito mode on Chrome.

It’s super cool. I use it to check flights to keep airlines from jacking their prices if I check too many times over a few days. The screen goes black like you’re a super spy on a covert operation. You can find it when clicking on the green button with the white arrow when you’re in Chrome.

Clear your cookie cache.

I empty my cache when my computer gets sooooo slllllloooooowwwww, it take a reeeeeally loooong tiiiiiime to loooooad. Cookies can become heavy suckers.

Go old school.

Read hard copies. Remember what that is? Paper. Let your fingers do the walking and call around for information. Good luck trying to find a phone book. Go to the library. Dust off your dictionary and World Book Encyclopedias.

Most of us depend on Google for information. Hence the verb “Googled it.” I have to admit to clicking on some of those ad popups, Google provided. Sorry.

So, when will it end?

Will it take an uprising? Millions of bloggers who take down their popups on a particular day? Will they punish every single one of them? Doubt it.

Punishing bloggers who make ZERO dollars from their blogs when their only reward from sharing free information is a slow trickle of stats doesn’t seem fair.

Watch what happens with the latest hand-slapping from France. My guess is Google will win, somehow or other. Or they may add their own popups to the growing popups. Either way, Google is huge. We depend on Google.

My disclaimer:

I’m not an expert. This is a general rant after watching 60 Minutes which explained that with or without accepting, sites will track your cookies anyway.

But why does Google have to track us? 

It’s the price of doing business.

Don’t want to pay that price? Go incognito, go old school, or empty your cookie cache every time you search. Be aware that you may have to sign back into all of your accounts which can be time-consuming.

You have a choice. 

Just not the choice implied by the cookie-accepting popup.

In the meantime, I’ll keep my Cookie Disclaimer. Just press accept and it won’t annoy you anymore.

Cookies unlike the cookies collected by Google. Click for info on the GDPR and why you see those cookie popups on blogs! Blogging tips, bloggers, social media #Blogtips #gdpr #bloggers #Bloggingtips #blogging

Do you bother accepting cookie disclaimers? Do you have one on your blog? Are you hungry for chocolate chip cookies after this blog post?

Click for more on the Wild Ride!

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57 thoughts on “The Cookie Policy Popup and Your Lack of Choice

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  1. I clear my cookie cache every day. It make for lots more work for me, but I try to reduce the ease with which businesses can track me. However as they say, when you’re not paying for it, you are the product. A reality we all live with here online.

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  2. I took that stupid pop up down from my blog long ago. We do not live in the EU, it has no jurisdiction here. I kicked everything Google to the curb about six months ago and don’t miss it. Try DuckDuckGo, that engine doesn’t track you. But I’m sure the Google beast still finds ways to track us.

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      1. It’s a legal thing, that as you wrote, began in the EU. Since most websites and blogsites are international… well, you can draw that conclusion. OTH, I do think we need some cookies. I run our businesses through one bank and AMEX. Daily deletion of cookies means I have go through the process of certification every time I log on.

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              1. It pops up from time to time. It seems glued to my Google home page. I’ve removed anything that can hurt me. But, what they do is ask them to use them. They will remove malware. They will remove viruses. Just download and install. They find plenty of malware. Their malware that they injected into your computer so they can find it. If you’re in that deep, they’ll charge you to remove it… I think about $300 a year. In short, it’s ransomeware. Google it. See what people say about it. They are criminals.

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  3. Think I need to work out how to clear my cookie cache… pretty much every website has that cookie disclaimer now.. trying to research diesel cars and MOT.. I accepted so many pop ups just to be able to read.. thanks for your interesting post.

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  4. I let my WP membership lapse, so my layout is probably all frazzled and I couldn’t put in code to stop the cookie pop if I wanted to. (I’m almost afraid to look!)

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  5. I do ‘cookie blitzes’ often – there’s a neat little utility called Piriform CCleaner which does the trick. The problem is that browser cookies are only part of the issue. EVERYTHING phones home, including Windows 10. You can’t turn off its reporting back to Microsoft. I get quite worried about the intrusiveness of all this, not so much because of where this information is currently going, but the fact that it may end up somewhere else unknown to me, later.

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  6. I dislike ‘pop-ups’ as much as anyone, Susie. However, by far the worst ones are the ones that ask you to subscribe to a mailing list every time you click on a website or blog, and there’s no option of saying ‘no thank you and please don’t show me this pop-up again.’ It’s a real turn-off for me and has even had me following blogs or not visiting them as much.

    With regards to the EU General Data Protection Regulation that the EU passed last year, it doesn’t matter where you live. If you have readers from the EU visiting your blog, then you have to enable the pop-up (that’s why WordPress have a widget for one). I’ve heard it said by some bloggers that they are far too small to ever get noticed and fined for not having the pop-up on their blog. Those were the same words said by a couple of bloggers I know who broke copyright regulations and got fined. The companies that look for those breaking these kinds of rules online use robots, 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to scan the internet to find and fine people who think they’ll never get caught out. My advice to everyone is to follow the rules and not break the law. It’s better to be safe than sorry, unless, of course, you have the money to pay the fines.

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    1. I totally agree about the popup. I want to start a mailing list independent of my blog. If I ever get around to it, I’ll add a widget. People who come here already see a subscribe button. The popup would be overkill.
      Do you know how much it cost them, Hugh? I’m sticking to the rules! Yikes!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A ‘mailing subscription’ widget is far better, Susie. I’m sure it’s not only us that want to face the same pop-up every time we visit a blog.

        As for the fines, one was fined $500, while the other two had fines of over $1,000.

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  7. On the upside, there are things like Cookie Controller. So you can deny as default, anyway, and allow only session cookies if it keeps asking or actually uses them.

    And then there are sites demanding to use JabbaScript that cannot be arsed to use HTTPs, or even better, to get a valid certificate.

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  8. An entertaining read as are the comments, Susie…I do clear my browser cache every so often …If I am one of those annoying cookery blogs please tell me and I will remove any ads that have crept in as I don’t like them myself…Have a lovely day 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Carol! You don’t have popup ads that I can see. Almost every time I find a recipe online, the site loads suuuuuper slooooow and then I’m inundated with tons of popups. I just click off now. It’s too annoying!
      Thanks so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for that, Susie,,,It is a big turn off for me as well who wants loads of adds so annoying…Always a pleasure to read your posts rant or not…haha…Have a great weekend 🙂 x

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  9. I no longer suffer from cookies, or pop-ups, pop-overs, pop-unders, nor am I ever tracked by Google anymore. How?

    1- Never, ever, under any circumstances use or even install, Google Chrome or use Google as your search engine. No matter what privacy settings you have on it, Google are the East German ‘Stasi’ of the internet.

    2- As Ray pointed out, DDG has an awesome privacy feature which blocks third party trackers that clearing your cache will not remove, because you can’t see them there. Including GOOGLE. They also give you a privacy grade as you go to each site. Google has a ‘D’ by the way. Word Press has a B+.

    3- Get an ad-blocker. UBlock Origin, and/or Ad Block Plus. I have both. If one doesn’t zap’em, the other will. You can also permanently block elements on a website using these two tools, like that that annoying Cookie Acceptance banner.

    Lastly, 4- you can set permissions per website as to whether they can store cookies, some, or none at all. And, no it does not affect the websites function unless it is one you need settings on, or need to log in to, like here on Word press, or your favorite weather website, etc. In that case, you have to enable cookies, for that site.

    Ever been to a news site which tells you that you have to subscribe to read something? Or, that you get to read 3 free articles this month? You can block those elements, and read what you want any time. Takes some doing, but it’s not that hard.

    Ever clicked to read an article on something, and get interrupted by annoying video which auto-plays, and follows you as you scroll down the page? You can block that garbage too.

    And, no none of this violates anything. Because, they have to invade YOUR computer to store cookies on it, to try to crook you into paying each time you visit their site, or hijack YOUR computers java script and the like to stalk you with those annoying videos. 😉

    Sorry this was so long Susie!..lol

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  10. Fascinating! I didn’t enable mine and I thought because i’m A US blogger with no control over who reads what I write in any given jurisdiction that GDPR shouldn’t apply. But perhaps that’s wrong—though it seems a bit like overreach to me. I don’t quite understand why or how US bloggers could be held accountable for Something we can’t control—who reads our words from other legal jurisdictions. Selling stuff yes—reading stuff—I don’t know.

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    1. It doesn’t matter. If you have UK visitors, you’re now responsible in warning readers that your site collects cookies. You can probably disable them somehow and avoid the disclaimer. I’m keeping mine to avoid the fine.

      Liked by 1 person

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