Cotonti and the EU e-Privacy Directive Cotonti and the EU e-Privacy Directive

Information regarding the new EU Cookie Law and Cotonti

On May 26th, 2011, the European Union accepted a new legislative directive regarding the use of web cookies. Also known as the Cookie Law, it applies to how you use cookies and similar technologies for storing information on a user’s equipment such as their computer or mobile device. It means that you have to get your visitors informed consent before placing a cookie on their machine. The law officially came into effect on May 26th, 2012, but since each EU member state has to implement its own version of the law, enforcement of the law may be delayed.

The law applies to cookies set by websites owned by organizations or individuals operating/living in the European Union. The law allows an exception for cookies which are "strictly necessary for a service requested by a user", such as those used to remember when something has been added to a shopping basket or allowing users to login. These cookies would be implicitly expected by the user. However, the law always applies to cookies which store personal information (such as names and email addresses).

The Cotonti CMS uses only one cookie. This cookie is used to store the user ID and session identifier after a user logs in. No personal information is involved. Also, the cookie is opt-in, meaning it's only stored if the user enables the 'remember me' checkbox on the login form. However, Cotonti does allow to force the 'remember me' option through the admin panel, which would hide the 'remember me' checkbox and enable it in the background. Since this behavior is not implicitly expected by a user, nor is the cookie a requirement for Cotonti to operate, forcing the 'remember me' option would probably not be allowed under the new law.

We recommend to do the following:

  • Disable the 'Force remember me' setting in Admin => Config => Users.
  • Make sure the 'Remember me' checkbox appears in the login form, otherwise check your template files.
  • Add a short text below the login form, or in the general conditions / privacy policy of your site, explaining the 'Remember me' feature will store a cookie on the visitor's computer containing anonymous session data.

Important note

Since each EU member state has to implement its own version of the law (the EU version is just a directive), details of the law may be different between countries. For example, the Dutch version also includes legislation on net neutrality. You should therefore inform yourself of the exact details of the law in your own country. The Cotonti Team and the author of this article accept no liability for any inaccuracies in the article. It's your own responsibility to ensure your site complies with local and international laws.

1. elfrenazo  2012-05-28 19:36
I always try to use anonymous users, use the registration website only to publish articles
2. GHengeveld  2012-05-29 17:34

It depends on the type of website you have. For blogs you're often the only user so it's not a problem, but for portals, forums and other such 'social' websites there's no escaping this.

3. elfrenazo  2012-05-30 00:10
if it's true, you're right
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