GDPR General Data Protection Regulation What It Means For Users And Webmasters
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. The European Union (EU) has decided that new requirements will be enforced to protect Internet users personal information (general data).
Since 25May2018 all websites (that are seen by EU residents) are required to allow those users the ability to choose If they want to allow computer cookies access to their computer. Computer cookies are small pieces of code are added to a computer when a user visits the website that store or retrieve information about the computer and/or personal information.
A typical 3rd party data collecter is advertising. The privacy statement would include words stating that the user's information is used to better serve ads. Google AdSense is a popular 3rd party advertiser.
What GDPR Means To The User
For the user these changes mean a more secure environment. The user should now see some sort of 'cookie' opt-in function on virtually every website they visit. Should they decide to opt out they should leave the website. Should they decide to opt-in data may be collected about the user and/or computer.
Website's have used cookies since the early days of the Internet. Meaning computer cookies are nothing new, just now more appearent. A website publisher must now state which data collectors they have and how the information is used.
For instance Google AdSense is a very popular advertiser used by millions of websites around the world. Hence Google is taking these requirements very seriously indeed.
Computer cookies like real life cookies are typically small consumable morsels. Cookies are the mechanism that brings convenience to the Internet. When you fill in a form or take part in a contest you have to input certain personal information (general data)
Opting out of cookie usage can severely inhibit a website's functionality. You may not be able to communicate with the webmaster, fill in any forms or use certain pages.
GDPR For Webmasters
It is up to the webmaster to comply with each of these company's policies to continue to use their services. Fortunately, this website uses SiteSell Inc's. Solo Build It, to host it. SBI has done the legwork for it's user and given us clear directions on how to comply with GDPR.
SBI has generated a GDPR compliance widget and serves it to all their websites. An SBI webmaster simply activates the widget or not. You should see it at the bottom of this page. That is untill you accept the option. Then it should disappear forever. Or at least until the cookie is removed from your computer.
Update June 3 2018
Forms on websites probably are the most important change for complying with GDPR. Now forms should include options for EU users to acknowlwdge your use of information and what you intend to do with it.
It seems these new regulations are designed more for the webmaster than the user. Considering 99% of the population could probably care less about GDPR webmasters world wide have been working many hours attempting to comply.
And what does that mean? Are there going to fines or jail time for non-compliant websites? Probably not. Will Google search engine or Facebook penalize websites for non-compliance? Probably at some point. But likely only for the little guys. Giant company's websites will probably get a slap on the wrist along with instructions on how to fix the issues.
Take a look at how BWT handles forms to be GDPR compliant.