Cookies Consent: what option to use and how to customize

The European Union law requires that a website shall get user consent before setting cookies. These cookies include tracking cookies used by analytics services (like Google Analytics) and by embedded content providers (Vimeo, Youtube, Facebook widgets, etc...). Purely technical, short-lived cookies such as those set by PhotoDeck are exempted.

DISCLAIMER: PhotoDeck does not offer legal advise nor qualified recommendations. If in doubt, please consult with your attorney or local government body.

Compliance is not a black-and-white thing however, and two risks must be balanced:

  • the risk of not complying with applicable regulations,
  • the business risk of alienating customers through worsened user experience on your website.

PhotoDeck provides you with several options to help you achieve the balance that is right for you.

Consent mode options

  • Don't request consent
    This option does not display any information bar about cookies, and does not prevent any cookies to be set. This is probably the best option if the EU law does not apply to you.
  • Info bar only
    This option displays an information bar to let your visitors know that your website uses cookies. Your visitors can close the information bar but cannot decline cookies. This approach is used by most large commercial websites at the time of writing (Sept 2015) but is clearly not strictly compliant with the EU law.
  • Opt-Out
    This option initially assumes that your visitors accept cookies, but displays an information bar with ACCEPT / DECLINE options. Cookies are set (tracking services and embedded third-party content are enabled), until the visitors indicates that he/she declines cookies. When cookies are declined, existing cookies are deleted when technically possible (PhotoDeck cannot delete all cookies set by embedded third-party content providers). When cookies are declined, analytics services are disabled and embedded content is also replaced by a message indicating that cookies must be accepted. This option is only slightly more taxing for the visitor than the previous one, but offers higher compliance with the EU law.
  • Opt-In
    This option disables Google Analytics and similar services, and replaces all embedded third-party content with a message indicating that cookies must be accepted. The information bar offers ACCEPT and DECLINE options. When cookies are accepted, tracking services and embedded third-party content are activated. This option offers the best legal compliance of all options, but is also the worse in terms of website usability.

Automatically generated "Cookies policy" page

PhotoDeck automatically generates for you a cookies policy page based on your chosen option for cookies consent.

This policy is linked from the default cookies consent bar on your website, and you can also add it to your website menu via its dedicated link type.

The full URL for this page is http://YOUR-SITE-URL/cookies-policy.

Customizing the cookies consent bar and the cookies policy

You can easily change the message displayed on the cookies consent bar. In this case, the link to the default generated policy is also removed, so you can either:

  • Manually add the link to the default policy into your custom message, using HTML code. For example:
    <a href="/cookies-policy">Learn more</a>
  • Create your own Cookies policy page (as a normal custom page), and add a link in your message using HTML code. For example:
    <a href="/PAGE-URL-FRAGMENT">Learn more</a> (The page URL fragment is defined as part of the custom page settings. See screenshot for full example)