You’ve surely heard a lot about that particular regulation, though you’ve more likely heard of it by its initials, GDPR.
Beginning on May 24, the law becomes enforceable, and even though it’s a European law, it affects websites and blogs that originate outside of Europe that are available to people who live in the European Union.
The fine for not complying is so outrageously large that you’d be a fool not to make changes to make sure you’re in compliance, but the trick for bloggers is that there’s not a great deal of information that definitively explains what they have to do.
So what does this GDPR mean?
I attended a meetup of Charleston-area bloggers last week and Heather Solos, the powerhouse behind Home Ec 101, gave a short talk on it.
GDPR designates WordPress users as “data controllers,” she said. Data controllers use “data processors” like Google Analytics, FeedBlitz or MailChimp.
Data processors often collect data on their users, and data controllers has to disclose what that information is.
Some of the information is personally-identifiable, like names, email addresses and social security numbers. Other pieces of data, like IP addresses, may not identify a specific person. (We know that because sometimes, in blocking the IP address of a troll, you block people in a small area instead.)
The main point of GDPR is to make it clear to users what you are and aren’t collecting.
Since I don’t sell a product, I’m not collecting payment information or birthdates or anything like that.
This site also leaves a cookie (or cookies) on your computer.
Take my cookies, please.
Here’s where I’m going to ask you to do me a favor: click the “Accept” button and let’s get on with our lives.
The second kind is third-party cookies. They’re from sites like Google Analytics that help me track who’s using this site. I don’t see what you personally click, but I can see what gets clicked and through demographic data, the type of people clicking the site.
It also helps with Google AdSense, which runs adds on this site. (Hey, I don’t ask for donations! Ads help — and only barely — cover the cost of hosting a site like this.)
If you have questions, leave me a comment on this post and I’ll do my best to answer it as if I know what I’m talking about!