An Introduction to Cookie Compliance

Introduction | Cookie Compliance Regulation

A recent amendment to the EU’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive, bought into force on 26th May 2011, has significant implications for the way that cookies are used on websites.

In its essence, it requires that companies actively obtain the consent of their users for storing cookies (and similar technologies for storing information) on their access devices (for example, laptops and PCs).

Previously the rule on cookies was essentially that you had to:

(i) tell people how you use cookies
(ii) tell them how they could opt out if they objected.

Compliance with this regulation has typically been achieved through making available general information about how the cookies are used in a Privacy Policy and detailing how to ‘opt out ‘ if desired.

This has generally led to a state of ‘passive’ acceptance of cookies by users. In other words, users had to actively object, i.e. by opting out; otherwise their acceptance of the cookies was implied. However, this is no longer the case.

Who Needs to Act?

It is clear that this new legislation places the burden of compliance on those collecting the data (i.e. the companies’ who are obtaining the data via cookies on their websites) and not on the provider (i.e. the users).

The EU law states that:

“Member States shall ensure that the storing of information… in the terminal equipment of a subscriber or user is only allowed on condition that the subscriber or user concerned has given his or her consent, having been provided with clear and comprehensive information, in accordance with Directive 95/46/EC, inter alia about the purposes of the processing”

This was also made clear by European Justice Commissioner Viviane Redding in a speech to the European Parliament:

“I want to explicitly clarify that people shall have the right – and not only the possibility – to withdraw their consent to data processing. The burden of proof should be on data controllers – those who process your personal data. They must prove that they need to keep the data, rather than individuals having to prove that collecting their data is not necessary.”

Complexities – Not All Cookies are Created Equal

The task of ensuring compliance is made significantly harder for companies by the simple fact that most have no idea exactly how many cookies they are running or what they are all for.

The legislation itself does not view all cookies as equal. Some are recognised as being essential for service (“strictly necessary”), such as a cookie that ensures items you place in your shopping basket remain in there. At the other end of the scale; there are Third Party Cookies. For example, if your website displays content from a third party (e.g. from an advertising network ) this third party may read and write their own cookies onto “your” users’ devices. For obvious reasons, the process of identifying and categorising these cookies is potentially a huge challenge even before getting to the stage of ensuring that the user is aware of what is being collected and by whom.

Am I Intruding?

The new rule is intended to add to the level of protection afforded to the privacy of internet users. It follows therefore that the more intrusive your use of cookies is, the more priority you will need to give to considering changing how you use it. For example, some cookies involve creating detailed profiles of an individual’s browsing activity. If you are doing this, or allowing it to happen, on your website or across a range of sites, it is clear that this could be considered intrusive behaviour.

Everyone Should Have A Small Business!

A small business is very important in today’s economy. Back in the 1960’s it took only one stream of income to survive. Today, if you are not working two are more jobs, your broke. The cost of living has sky rocketed and most of the world can not keep up.

This brings us to a common solution. Start you own personal service business A/K/A A Small Business.

Most people start a small business by default. Take Jakie for example. She is a mother of 3 kids who is a stay at home mom. She loves to bake cookies. One day she opened her window and there was a fair passing by her house. Someone looked in and asked her how much was for one of those cookies. Now Jakie did not have any intention to sell those cookies. She gave the kid it for free. The the kid went out and shared the cookie with someone else. The came back with five other kids who wanted to try the cookies. This gave Jakie an idea. I can Package these and sell them for $0.99 each. That lead her to start a cookie business from her home. Today she has a book, a infomercial and a website that makes her residual income.

Could you see yourself following in Jakies footsteps sometime in the future?

The time to start a personal service coorporation is now. Take the time to figure out what you like to do. Create a short term action plan and then take action today. Do not wait for a second, because we all have the same amount of hours to live each day. It’s what we do with those hours that matter.

Most people decide to sell there information and get paid for it. Others write a book and get residuals from it. The choice is yours. The most important thing is that you get started today and make the best of your new business. After operating your busines for six months, you might want to consider expanding. Get someone you can train to do what you do and double your efforts. Duplication will help you set your business on auto-pilot. Good Luck.

Cookie Grandma’s Secrets to a Unique and Powerful Business

Your business probably seems like many others. There are billyuns and billyuns of therapists, consultants, retailers, and healers. Yet, in order to make an impact and deeper connection with customers that is so necessary for a sustainable business, you need to distinguish yourself.

However, just ‘finding your voice’ and ‘developing your uniqueness’ aren’t often helpful strategies. Your voice may be unique, but who’s going to listen to it?

I think we better visit the Cookie Grandma.

A depression-era blue metal bowl.

In my office I have a depression-era blue metal bowl with a lid, and a white floral decorative pattern on it. My parents gave it to me. “It was the Cookie Grandma’s,” they told me.

The Cookie Grandma was my father’s grandmother, and I have very few memories of her. But I do remember the bowl, and the cookies.

I took to calling her the Cookie Grandma because whenever we visited her, she had a plate of cookies out for me- and I was at an age when cookies were a big priority.

Grandparents do more than just spoil grandchildren.

The more I’ve learned about human growth and development, the more I’m awed by how big an impact family lineage has on us. It not only informs our genetics, and much of our personality, but it provides a platform for us to stand on.

In a way that’s hard to express in words, I’ve felt how important family is in creating a platform for who we are. A platform puts solid ground under your feet. The Cookie Grandmas in your family have helped to define the platform of who you are, and where you are standing. This platform helps you deal with everything that comes to you.

Guess what? Your business needs a platform for all the same reasons.

What is your business lineage?

Unique power and truth comes from a lineage. For instance, in Heart of Business we stand in two lineages. One lineage has to do with all the amazing people we’ve learned business from: Robert Middleton, Sean D’Souza, my parents and grandparents, Paul Hawken, Jim Collins, Seth Godin, George Lakoff, and many, many others.

The other lineage is the spiritual tradition of Sufism. As impressive as the business lineage is, Sufism has a continuous 1500 years of masters teaching students. And, before that, another 3500 years of spiritual teachings.

That is one heck of a platform. When I talk about generosity in marketing because it feels good, that’s one thing. When I share teachings from business gurus about the effectiveness of generosity in marketing, that takes it up another level.

But, when I talk about the spiritual source of the Divine Quality of Generosity, and how our beings receive and express the power of Generosity, there is an undeniable depth of truth that comes through.

Here’s comes Grandma with the cookies.

Grandma, and especially Great-Grandma, is usually retired. She has the time, and space to bring you goodies, like cookies.

The power, experience, and wisdom of your platform is your business’ Cookie Grandma. It draws people to you, and gives you the cookies of success that your business wants.

But, there are just so many platforms… where’s my uniqueness?

You’re right, you do need uniqueness. Many people try to for uniqueness in their business by ‘creating’ a unique platform, and it doesn’t work. The platform brings strength, confidence, clarity, wisdom, and cookies. But not uniqueness.

Uniqueness bubbles out of the alchemy that happens from blending platforms and expressing them through your own personality.

Example: Robert Pirsig, best-selling author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, blended motorcycle maintenance with Zen and expressed it through his own personality. Motorcycle maintenance isn’t unique. Neither is Zen. But the two together, through Robert, is unique.

Example: Jim Collins, best-selling author of business book Good to Great, blended the hallowed tradition of stringent academic research with developing large corporations, and expressed it through his own personal style of reporting and story-telling.

Example: Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, globally-known civil rights activist, blended the platform of Christian teachings with the non-violent teachings of Monhandas Gandhi, and expressed it through his own style of preaching and speaking.

None of these leaders and teachers depended on themselves for the power of what they were bringing- their platforms and lineages provided that.

What they did do was combine platforms, and express them in a unique way. And impacted millions of people.

Hmmm… has this got you thinking? Well, the Cookie Grandma has her plate of cookies out. Grab one, and keep reading.

Keys to Finding Your Unique Platform

o Pick Platform Number One

Who is someone you’ve learned from? Whose knowledge and experience are you leaning into? Embrace and acknowledge that person. Accept that person as someone in your ‘lineage.’ In some very real way, this person is a grandparent to your business.

o Pick Platform Number Two

My personal prejudice is to use a spiritual or wisdom tradition for one of the platforms, because they can be so deep and profound. The teachings one finds in Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sufism, Buddhism, etc, etc, can just rock your world.

But, if you aren’t drawn in that direction, you can also pick an expert from a completely different field. Let’s say your first platform was a business guru. And then, what if you picked an art teacher as your second platform? Or a chef? Or a master gardener?

The lessons you learn in cooking, or gardening, or sculpting, can inform your business knowledge to a tremendous degree, and can bring fresh insights.

o Make sure both platforms are alive for you.

If both platforms aren’t areas or people that you have an active, creative interest, you run the risk of your platform sounding ‘gimicky,’ because it’s missing the groundedness of your own experience and learning.

If you love gardening, however, I bet there are all kinds of lessons from how certain plants support or hinder each other in a garden bed that have implications in, say, teamwork in large organizations.

o Bring it through you.

Your heart has a unique Jewel. You also have a unique personality. Find permission in your own heart to express what you learn from your platforms in your words, in your own ways.

Sometimes, especially with spiritual traditions, it can seem sacrosanct to bring humor, or your own ‘plain talk’ into the mix. But, it’s not. That’s the aliveness.

Remember, the power and success of your business needs to rest and grow through the wisdom and experience of others. But it will only bloom through your own uniqueness. Mix those together, and you’re unstoppable.