Much ado about Cookies ūüć™

Cookie notices seem to be here to say. Why are they every­where and do you need to pop out one on your website too?

The average user may get easily annoyed by the per­sis­tent queries that seem to pop out after every single site change. On the other hand website creators have been troubled by un­cer­tain­ty about how the cookie notice should be shown, what in­for­ma­tion should be included and whether they are always even required.

The web is full of in­ter­pre­ta­tions and in­struc­tions on the subject, but it has been difficult to find un­am­bigu­ous answers. And even when clear and precise guidance is found, most probably the in­for­ma­tion provided is already outdated.

For­tu­nate­ly, The National Cyber Security Centre Finland (NCSC-FI)  updated it's cookie guidance last autumn. Guidance is available for both site users and service providers (i.e. site admins/editors). So if you want to check every­thing you need to take into account when enabling cookie scripts on your website, check out in­struc­tions for service providers (un­for­tu­nate­ly the guide is currently available only in Finnish though).

We think that the best approach to this topic is to recall what is the aim of all these annoying popups. It all began with additions to EU leg­is­la­tion some years ago. To cut the story short, purpose of those additions was to protect the privacy of the website visitors and make tracking and other similar ac­tiv­i­ties more trans­par­ent for normal users. Take, for example, a situation where you visit company's website and few moments later your social media feeds are starting to show ads from that same company. In the past, this might have been a sus­pi­cious surprise, but nowadays ad targeting scripts can not be "hidden" anymore.

What is cookie anyway?

Cookies are small files that a browser saves on to a computer. These files can be used to store in­for­ma­tion about the usage habits and default settings of a site visitor. For example, if you change the language of the site you are visiting from Finnish to English, it's con­ve­nient that the next time you come to the same website, the language is already the one you chose before. This is thanks to a cookie added to your computer.

Do I need to show cookie notice on my website?

If your website uses ad targeting scripts or visitor tracking, such as Google Analytics, then the answer to that question is most probably yes. The visitor must be told clearly what user in­for­ma­tion is stored via cookies, where this in­for­ma­tion is used and who has access to it. User should also be given the pos­si­bil­i­ty to revoke the consent af­ter­wards.

How to add Cookie Notice to your website?

This depends on how your website is made. An easy and reliable way is to use an external service (such as Cookiebot) that allows you to embed a cookie notice and related func­tion­al­i­ty into your website.

If you have made your website with Oidom, it's even easier to add and manage a cookie notice. 

Cookie notice management view in Oidom

You can find the Cookie notice tool from the Settings tab. Click the Cookie notice submenu to enable it. After activating the cookie notice, a preview of the notice will appear on the right side of the browser, where you can update the texts to match your website policies. Be sure to also activate the link to cookie settings via "Revoking Consent".

Read more in-depth guidance for enabling a Cookie Notice on your Oidom website