Testing cookieless web analytics

As visitors to this blog will have seen, the greeting message is all about cookies. Not very inspiring, was it? Most website owners would prefer to greet visitors in another way, but some may have to put a similar cookie notice up front because of the EU Directive 2009/136/EC, being implemented across Europe right now and also known as the ”EU cookie law”.

Of course, many websites can be made compliant with the cookie law in much less intrusive ways – I have personally adapted a dozen or so sites and no other adaptation is as ugly as this one. Websites where the user needs to sign in can have a cookie notification near the sign-in button, other sites may want to follow the pragmatic Recommendation on the use of cookies and comparable technology by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB-SE). And there are other options too. But some websites will face a challenge to stay legal.

Most of all, web analytics and advertising seem to be difficult to use without sacrificing either usability or cookielaw compliance. Almost all advertising solutions use cookies, and all modern web analytics packages have been doing that too. If you wanted a cookieless solution you had to stick with older statistics packages depending on web server log file analysis, with limited ability to track the usage of your websites. Until now!

The eVisit analyst promises a modern analytics solution without cookies! From what I understand, they use a combination of client IP number and browser specifics to keep track of sessions. It is possible that the solution thus bypasses the cookie law, which is applicable when the website stores or fetches (”lagrar i eller hämtar från” in the swedish cookielaw wording) information on the user terminal.

I will be trying out the product, and ask some lawyers what they say about its consequences. Come back here in a few weeks for a report!

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