If you live outside of Europe, you may be unfamiliar with the "EU Cookies" directive. It encourages websites to share in-depth details about the "cookies" they deposit on a user's machine when that user visits a website. These types of cookies are widely used by nearly all online services to help systems remember visitors and their preferences. They can be very useful at making a user's online experience more customized and personalized, but some people worry that consumers aren't being educated about the type of data that is collected when they visit a public site. The idea behind the directive is that sharing extensive details about these cookies will empower consumers to make more educated decisions about how much they want to participate on a particular site or service.
There may be a downside to this well-intentioned idea. Some say it will erode participation on sites by scaring Internet users into thinking that a site isn't safe if it displays intrusive messaging about data collection. No matter how you feel about it, if you're located in the European Union or the U.K., we want you to be able to point your members to a list of cookies that your Ning Network may use in day-to-day operations.
What is Ning doing?
We are publishing a list of the cookies we currently use, along with a short description of their respective functions. You'll find this list in the Help Center here. This a public list that anyone can access at any time. Please note that if you have installed third-party widgets or code not made by Ning, the providers of that code may use additional cookies, which won’t be included in this list. It would be your responsibility to add those to this list.
What can you do?
Whether and how you make this information available to your members is entirely up to you. As an example, you may wish to:
If I'm not in Europe or the U.K., do I need to do anything?
If you're not located in Europe or the U.K., you’ll probably find that this directive probably doesn't apply to you. If you feel strongly about this issue and want to display this cookie information on your site anyway, you can.
What if I have more questions?
We aren't able to provide you with specific legal advice, but we do want to point you to as many outside resources as we can that can help you decide if and how you display any EU Cookie information on your own Ning Network. Here are some good resources that can help explain more of the details of this EU Directive:
My network was created by someone in the US and taken over by me (European Union) and has members from all over the world. Is my network considered European since I am the owner now?
Thanks so much!
Thank you Eric, and looking forward to the Q& A Sweet Potato!
For the sake of clarity, can I point out that the UK is in Europe. It is a member of the European Union. We elect members to the European Parliament, sit on the Council, hold the Presidency (on a rota basis with other members), appoint Commissioners etc etc etc.
The EU cookies directive is not something that has been imposed on the UK by Europe, it is something the UK has helped decide.
I'm not saying whether this is a good thing or not. It's fact. But if people are explaining this to their web communities phrases like the one in your explanation:
"if you're located in the European Union or the UK" are simpy wrong
for US citizens reading this, it's the equivalent of saying: "if you're located in the USA or Nebraska"
Thank you for listening!
Technically, you're right.
However, the ICO, the organisation tasked with implementing this in the UK, has made clear that it won't be enforcing this to the letter of the EU law, whereas other EU members will be. The reason Eric has probably made the distinction is because the UK government have already delayed this from May last year, and even now, at the 11th hour, the ICO have apparently watered it down further: see Guardian article
So what goes for the EU doesn't necessarily go for the UKif it doesn't fancy it, as always :-)
ps, I'm from the UK, I'm not a French farmer or a Spanish air traffic controller.
Thanks. The Guardian article helps - I was just starting to research for some simple advice and that's save me.
Does anyone running a local community Ning site have any advice on what they've done, if anything?
no worries. i've just copied Ning's cookie table and added some words stolen form the BBC and others. you can see mine here
Would it be acceptable to copy some of that first info?
Thank you so much, that saves me lots of time.