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:
Thanks Eric, Ning and SweetPotato.
This is the kind of stuff that can drop off your radar (one for the Spanish air traffic controllers) as an NC because it's a pain and I really appreciate the efforts made by Ning (ok, it's in their interest but anyway), SweetPotato and anyone else who's going to add anything here.
Research time and sound foundations help you sleep better. Medically proven. I think.
Eric: Very helpful for EU-based NCs to try their best to comply with the web/personal data laws of our area! Thx Ning for being aware of non-US based NCs in countries that are very likely to be stricter.
Speaking about EU personal data regulations for EU-based NCs, may I add a highly important related topic concerning the Safe Harbour compliance for EU-based NCs?
Not that I'm a legal expert, but from my experience of it and what I've learnt, here's the "synthesis":
Any EU-based website owner must comply with EU personal data collection regulations named "Safe Harbour". As far as you're using EU-based service providers to operate your site where personal data of your members are technologically transferred, everthing's fine, you're abiding by the law (whether you know it or not!).
BUT when using non EU-based service providers, that's where things matter: you're being considered as transferring personal data abroad which is very strictly regulated in EU. In such a case, unless your service provider has been EU Safe Harbour certified, you have to get a specific authorization from the regulation authorities of your country...At least, this is how it works in France with the very famous CNIL of ours. Happily for us, EU-based NCs, NING HAS BEEN EU SAFE HARBOUR CERTIFIED since early 2011! Thanks Ning guys for thinking outside of the box/outside of the US framework :-)
That info is not really easy to find either by contacting your teams or on this site. I spent a few stressful boring hours digging into legal info and Ning huge amount of info to get to the happy conclusion I was no offender and could keep using Ning on the long term. Which is why I'm permitting myself that long (but hopefully useful) post to link Ning's EU Safe Harbour certification.
Sorry for the very long post, hope it will help you get the right tools to abide by the law and run your site on Ning in a safe and lasting way :-)
Greetings all I am new to your group here, though a creator since 2009 with my family and our team. Thank you for the information on this Eric, and all the changes I have experience the few years are all getting better and better!
what means 'encourages ' ? if there is no legal requirement, i will not bother my pensioners with cookies
they cant even understand how to send a message and asking why the comments are visible to all (off topic- sorry)