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cookie-cat

Assist compliance with UK cookie law/EU cookie directive by listing the cookies your website uses using the [cookies] shortcode. depends on oik.

What is the EU cookie law?

Also known as the EU e-Privacy Directive the "UK Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation" becomes effective in the UK on 26th May 2012. That's the date when the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is due to begin enforcing the new rules.

Who does it apply to?

All websites that use cookies which may be delivered to devices being used in the UK or EU countries.

What should we do about it?

Steps to take:

  1. Each website should have a privacy policy page.
  2. Each privacy policy page should list the cookies in use.
  3. Each website should obtain consent to use cookies, as and when required, depending on cookie category

This plugin helps with step 2.

What are the cookie categories?

Here's a simple list.

  1. Strictly necessary cookies - these cookies enable services you have specifically asked for
  2. Performance cookies - these cookies collect anonymous information on the pages visited
  3. Functionality cookies - these cookies remember choices you make to improve your experience
  4. Targeting cookies or advertising cookies - these cookies collect information about your browsing habits in order to make advertising relevant to you and your interests.

For more information see cookie-cat or read the ICC UK Cookie guide

I just get [cookies]!

You need to activate both the oik plugin and the cookie-cat plugin. And check the syntax of the shortcode.

Some of my cookies are "unknown"

The list of cookies that this plugin recognises may never be a complete list of all known cookies. If your website delivers cookies that are not recognised then the cookie category, description and duration will be shown as "unknown". This is not really acceptable as the guidelines state that you're suppposed to explain "how they are used on the websites they visit".

There are several ways to address this problem.

  1. Do nothing. NOT recommended.
  2. Add a caveat saying something like "the exact purpose of the cookie has not yet been ascertained. If you are concerned please contact us for more information."
  3. Remove the unknown items from the table.
  4. Find out what the unknown cookies are; then update the output with the correct information.
  5. Stop using the plugin/theme or service that delivers the "unknown" cookie
  6. Let cookie-cat know you have an "unknown" cookie, wait for an update and retry.
  7. Raise an issue if there is a bug in the code.

How do I add a caveat?

First you need a Privacy policy page. If you have used the oik-privacy-policy plugin to help generate your Privacy policy page then you can write the caveat in the section that starts "A list of all the cookies used in this website by category is set out below".

How do I remove the items from the table

  1. Override the default logic to select the plugins you want processed
  2. Override the default logic to select the cookies you want listed
  3. Edit the generated HTML
  4. Programmatically, using the "cookies" filter
  5. A combination of the above

How do I update the output?

The [cookies] shortcode queries information from an XML file that contains the known information about a cookie. If you think it's wrong then you can do one or more of the following:

  • save the HTML generated by the [cookies] shortcode and edit it manually
  • change the XML file
  • develop a "filter" to alter the data before it's displayed

How do I save the generated HTML

Use the "oik options > shortcode help" page, select the [cookies] entry then copy the generated "snippet" Paste this into your Privacy policy page. You may then wish to de-activate the cookie-cat plugin until you next change the installed plugins.

How do I change the XML file?

From version 1.1 the XML file can be loaded directly from the cookie-cat website. Use oik options > cookie cat and follow the instructions in the Installation section Note that using the Load XML function passes the names of currently active cookies to the cookie-cat server. By using the function you authorize cookie-cat to the information that is passed.

What is the source of the XML file's data

This comes from a website called cookie-cat. The XML file delivered with the plugin is generated from the data held in the website. Every so often it is regenerated, producing information about the known cookies used by known plugins. Whenever the plugin is updated then a new version of this file will be delivered.

The list of cookies shown is different from cookiecert.com's list

The main reason is probably because the XML file doesn't yet have a mapping between a plugin and a group of cookies. Try using [cookies browser=Y]; you may get some "unknown" cookies listed. If so, see above.

The cookiecert.com website reports the cookies it comes across when visiting your site. The list seems to include cookies that its spider has accessed by following links such as PayPal buttons.

Can I list the browser cookies?

Yes. Use [cookies browser=Y]

What is the syntax for [cookies]?

[cookies
browser="N|Y - show browser cookies"
cookies="|cookie1,cookie2 - Optional list of cookie names."
plugins="|plugin1,plugin2 - Optional list of plugin names. Defaults to ALL active plugins"
temp="N|Y - Use the temporary cc_mapping XML file"]

Where can I find out more?

If you are in the UK you should see the ICC UK Cookie Guide

Also have a look at the links on the cookie-cat website.

Requires: 3.5 or higher
Compatible up to: 3.9.1
Last Updated: 2014-4-17
Downloads: 7,116

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