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Will Brown Internet Privacy Information

Will Brown Internet does not itself collect information with cookies, but may use “return visit” cookie data collected by others to improve site effectiveness.

Other data used to monitor and improve sites includes viewer’s: • date and time of visit • IP address (this may ascertain Internet Provider and approximate location) • browser (e.g. Firefox 3.5) • operating system version (e.g. Windows XP) • screen resolution (e.g. 800x600) • referring link • other browsing information •

Web site Forms (published after May 2012)

Will Brown Internet on line forms state what will happen to information given on and collected by each form.



HOT COOKIES

@ 23 June, 2017.

This is like a blog -

-  so start at the bottom.

June 2015

Five years forward

one step back

So after five years of money and time squandered the outcome is some sites have a small banner at top or bottom of page. Most people do not notice them, others are annoyed at having to click to dismiss. A step back.

Feb 2014

Normality resumed

Most WBI published websites now have a privacy link leading to a cookie and privacy page specific to that site. Common sense has finally prevailed.

A few sites continue to deploy annoying blocking question asking intrusion strategies, presumably because they had spent lots of time and money developing them.

Jan 2014

So that’s why

UK courts allow Google to be sued in relation to the “Safari Scam”. This circumvented the browsers security setting, causing it to think the user was filling in a form on a trusted site and thus allowing the Google owned Double Click to install a temporary cookie. Google has been previously fined over $39,000,000 in the USA for the same issue.

Mar 2013

Annual review

Nearly 2 years since this law required compliance. Many sites (some quite important) still seem not to display even minimal warnings or options. OR perhaps they use pop ups but browsers are blocking.

Many sites are taking the simple course of displaying a small header as WBI sites continue to do.

There have been some significant ironic spin offs, like the Radio Times site that displayed a huge pop up on your first visit but not thereafter. Part of the “joke” was that the automated banner removal was instigated with a “cookie”.

On the highly respected PC Pro web site Mark Newton wrote  “The new cookie laws were so unworkable, even the Information Commissioner was forced to retreat…. In reality, most websites couldn’t comply with the law.”

Jan 2013

ICO volte-face

The ICO web site has replaced its huge cookie banner with a small footer. Rather than asking to use cookies it just states cookies have been set. From a web site publisher’s point of view this puts us back where we were before Cookie Law - a small link to Privacy and Cookie information.

Out-law.com stated “The UK's privacy watchdog will no longer require individuals' explicit consent in order to serve them with 'cookies' when they visit its website.

Oct 2012

Who is interested?

The BBC reported “The ICO said it had received 486 complaints about non-compliance since May”. That’s minimal  compared to the number of sites viewable in the UK.


Full compliance possible?

A researcher claimed “our own research with Manchester University's School of Computer Science is demonstrating that there is currently no automated solution to help organisations comply with the cookies regulation.”

Sep 2012

Legal Challenge

The BBC reported “A software firm has challenged the UK's ICO to punish it over its use of web cookies.

It is believed the ICO is to issue further advice in November.

Jul 2012

What new law?

Over 2 months after the law came into affect some huge UK sites seem to have done little or nothing. For instance Mail Online only has a tiny link at the bottom of very long pages. Their cookie page includes “If you do not accept this privacy policy and cookies notice, do not use this Site”.

Jun 2012

Cookie law ignored

On 6th June, 2012 The Telegraph reported “The majority of websites are still flouting new EU 'cookie' laws”.

May 2012

ICO row back

A day before enforcement was due to start, the ICO revealed it would consider "implied consent" to be good enough.


Cookies On Safari

Stanford University found advertisers were able to store Google cookies on computers browsing with Apple Safari. The Wall Street Journal reported that Google "disabled the code after being contacted by the paper".

May 2011

Deadline extended

ICO gives web sites a further year to comply. This was down to lack of action by many sites, mainly down to the law as directed by ICO being technically impossible to comply with. Many IT companies become very busy making or wasting money in the rush to comply.

2009

Cookie law announced

ICO gives web sites two years to comply with its interpretation of the law.


*

Cookies and the new cookie law FAQs

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small text file (often just a string of numbers) saved on your computer and is used to identify your browser to the server of a web site.

Cookies became an integral part of the web in 1995 and are generally a good thing, web sites and the Internet work better because of them. Like almost any tool they could be misused or abused, some say that could invade privacy, if this worries you, you can turn off cookies in your browser.


Why are cookies used?

Besides identifying your browser as returning, they can help indicate your site preferences or username on a site where you stay logged in since a previous visit.


Will turning off cookies stop me giving out information as I surf the web?

No, you leave a trail even without cookies. Just one instance is your IP address on the web (which may be showing below), this reveals your Internet provider and maybe your location. Many devices also give out your GEO location.

How do I turn off Cookies?

Browsers vary in the way they control cookies, try the “help” available in your browser or refer to this web page.


Can I rely on a web site link or option on a page to turn off cookies?

Not always. It’s better to use the cookie control options in your browser.


What’s the best thing for me to do?

Most think cookies are OK, but keep their implications in mind.

Some more secure browsers, like Opera, will give you lots of options, like to accept cookies on an individual or site basis and how long a cookie lasts.  

You could try turning off and deleting cookies and see how you get on.


Are cookies just for the web page I am looking at?

No, they often come from a third party item, maybe a commerce cart, a banner advert, embedded video or a social site “like button”.


Can cookies be bad?

Almost anything can be misused. Cookie data could be swapped, shared, put to non pertinent use or sold around. You should appreciate that could impinge on your personal privacy.

Many people particularly distrust cookies set by banner adverts, Google Analytics and social media site “Like Buttons” as used by Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. For this reason Will Brown Internet sites do not use these, plain text links to these cannot set cookies until you click them.


Who makes most use of cookies?

Search engines - to try and give you the results they think you want (is that good or bad?). Social media sites, auction sites, banner adverts  

It’s all about targeting you (is that good or bad?). Most cookie data is used to help the web work efficiently, it is absorbed into a mass of anonymous data.


What about the new cookie law? (This is now the old cookie law?)

The EU law states in the UK web sites certain types of cookie must offer a cookie opt out before viewing. This is at best intrusive, condescending and unreliable. Many sites do not comply fully or in any way.

Many sites/pages published unchanged for many years may use cookies.

Should and could every UK page on the web be changed?

It took many months for some prestigious UK sites to attempt to comply.

In January 2013 the ICO changed it’s own site to a small footer that stated that a cookie had been set. This is back almost to where we were before the law.


The new law, who is in charge?

The Information Commissioner, known as the ICO is administrating the new law on behalf of the UK government.  From a small web site provider's view the ICO web page is not helpful. While coming over all reasonable it only provides grief to providers of small, lean, fast sites. The ICO could help, like provide reasonable examples, advice and code snippets. I hope they settle on a way that doesn’t involve the web becoming infested with page blocking pop ups …

They have, see above para.

The ICO site includes this link which implies it approves of over intrusion.
What do you think?


The new law and the WORLD WIDE WEB?

Although this law applies to sites outside of the EU that target the UK it seems unclear how/if this EU law will work with sites, even .co.uk sites, published and hosted abroad. One view is that some sites and hosts may go off shore.


Why do libraries NOT sticker each book with a warning that I may leave a trail of DNA or finger prints behind?

Because you already know that? If that worries you, you could wear gloves.

Likewise cookies on the web are normal and everyone knows all about them, what they do and how to control them. Or they soon will.


The new law and Will Brown, Will Brown Internet and Clients?

After spending months researching, reviewing and testing, I have yet to find an effective, reliable and fully compliant solution that isn’t condescending and obstructing. Most sites that try to follow the law to the letter exhibit extremely annoying and off putting behaviour. To me they seem horrid.

Following the about turn on the ICO site WBI will be changing to a small Privacy and Cookie link at the foot of page. (May 2013) Which is almost back to before the law.


If expensive and clever methods could comply to the letter, they may still not address at least two scenarios:

1.  - What happens when someone takes over a browser on a site with which someone else has previously answered YES to cookies?

2.  - Although something may float at the top of a page, its code may likely be placed at the end of the mark up. This means screen readers may only read out the cookie warning last, if at all. Doesn’t that miss a vital chunk of users?


Current best advice “seems” that “reasonable efforts” may suffice.


Will Brown Internet pages published since March 2012 have shown a header like the one at the top of this page. Combined with this information page this goes further than many other sites but stops short of any flaky blocking or popping up. Assuming this becomes the norm, when every page has a such a header, will anyone take any notice?

Following the ICO about turn the Cookie banner will be removed as sites update and the Cookie & Privacy link will revert to the page footer. Customers will be charged for related research and publishing during 2012. The reversion in 2013 will be FOC. :)


Published 23/6/17. Still under review.

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