It’s all about the cookies. An Important Update from Skimlinks.
What is a cookie?
noun; the new EU legislation applies to the 2nd definition below.
1. A delicious circle of cake, often found with chocolate chips inside.
2. “A computer cookie, also referred to as an “HTTP cookie,” is a small text file that contains a unique ID tag, placed on the user’s computer by a website. In this file, various information can be stored, from pages visited on the site, to information voluntarily given to the site. These tiny files provide practical benefits to both users and website operators, and generally make surfing the net a smoother experience than it otherwise would be.” (source: WiseGeek.com).
What is the EU Privacy Directive?
The EU Privacy Directive is a piece of privacy legislation designed to make consumers aware of how information about them is collected online. The law says that websites must get permission from visitors to store or retrieve any information on their computers or other devices. Full information can be found at the Information Commissioner’s office website here.
Why the need for a law? Are cookies scary?
Does it affect Me?
What is the ICO’s stance on the directive, as it relates to UK publishers?
We’ve met with folks from the Information Commissioner’s Office (the regulatory body for data and privacy laws in the UK), to gain an understanding that the focus for UK publishers should be on “informed consent.” This means that you should take steps to let your publishers know what types of cookies you use on your site. (A handy and practical guide from the ICO can be found here).
As a Skimlinks’ publisher in Europe, how can I be sure I’m compliant?
If I am a Skimlinks publisher based outside of Europe, what should I do?
Do I need to get an explicit opt-in regarding cookies from each user on my site?
What changes is Skimlinks making?
What kind of cookies are involved when a publisher uses Skimlinks on their page?
If you are using Skimlinks on your site, there are various cookies that get dropped when a user clicks on a merchant link both by Skimlinks and the affiliate networks we partner with. The networks cookies are key for following a user’s click through to purchase and associating that back to you as the publisher. The Skimlinks cookie is for the optimisation of the experience across our publisher network. You can see the full list of cookies and get more information here.
Why is Skimlinks so open and honest about all of this stuff. Aren’t you worried about people getting scared by the word ‘cookies?’
We are big believers in being open and honest about everything we do, and think that the more we educate people, the better off they will be, the more they will understand the value cookies play, and the more they will trust Skimlinks!
What is Team Skimlinks’ favorite type of cookie (the kind you can eat)?
We took a poll of Team Skimlinks on Yammer, and with about half of the team votes in, the survey saaaaaays… Chocolate Chip!!! We were all a bit shocked that Peanut Butter got zero votes, but we are really a Nutella first company when it comes to our cookie toppings.
To close on a serious note, we understand that laws can be complex and we are here to help. This is the start on our journey to compliance, and we want to work together with you, our publishers and merchants. We hope you’ve found this post useful, and remember that we are always here if you need further assistance.
All the best,
Image under under Creative Commons by Flickr user Pete Prodoehl