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