'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

URGENT - Menotopshinal - no, not optional at all...

Image from Unsplash
With the ever-widening pool that is the online life comes the need for tools and safeguards to smooth the flow of data and protect the users and contributors of same. A major update in the protocol is about to take place. Tomorrow, in fact. DISCLAIMER; what follows is not being provided as any form of legal information - it is purely to raise awareness and everyone must take responsibility for educating themselves for their individual requirements. I shall be addressing this purely from Blogger dot com perspective. WordPress users can start HERE and follow up with all their own researches. If you run your site independently - get help!

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

This has been triggered by EU regulations but affects absolutely everyone who has an online presence in the form of a 'web page'. This includes blogs. That link above takes you directly to the EU site which gives reasons and requirements. It can look overwhelming. Do not think you are immune; if our site is visible to any readers who are resident within the EU, they will expect to see that you have complied.

Some of you who use the InLinkz platform for blog hops will likely have received the email pointing to some information. Or you will have become aware of it through receiving communications from various companies as they update their policies.


"Don't panic.... well maybe just a little."
Image from Pixabay
If you are not aware of it or have decided to bury your heads about it, now is the time to get savvy. The threat of fines is very slim for those of us who are small, down-home bloggers; but this does not exempt us from having to comply. Being under the umbrella of Google has its advantages here. In the same way that they provided coverage for the 'we use cookies' legislation last year, it might be expected they will do similar for the GDPR... that said, at time of preparing this post, locating any firm information on this matter is proving very difficult. While it can be pretty certain that Blogger will be covered by Google, they have yet to respond to some quite desperate pleas from users beyond the answer you see below - something I have noted on other platforms is a disclaimer that not all blogs of those platforms necessarily use plugins and widgets which originate from the platform and therefore cannot be covered by them. As this can be true for some on the Blogger platform also, then it is imperative that a privacy statement be placed, no matter how basic. The more linked and affiliated or AdSensed your blog is, the more the need. It would seem that Google is concentrating on the large-scale (read 'commercial') areas, but there are frustrations coming out on the blogger forum where there is a stock answer of 'yes we are committed, but you should seek independent legal advice.' That's a real headache. Most bloggers are not going to be prepared to do this and it begs the question, 'is it worth continuing?'

Well, of course, none of us wants to stop just like that, but in the meantime, we still have to make some effort. What exactly? let me provide a snapshot from the InLinkz article;





Okay, so what do we take from this which is useful right now? First and foremost, by having comments available on our blogs we require to have some form of basic privacy statement. By having a contacts form embedded, a privacy statement will need to include this. In the case of Blogger, the collection of data from comments and their widgets falls back to Google so until more detail becomes available, here at Wild YAM and my other blogs, I shall be redirecting folks to 
that page

I have made it clear previously but will be making a direct statement to the fact that I do not utilise other social media. Having already rid the blogs of all relevant 'buttons', this has already been dealt with. The one remaining G+ button is, again, covered by Google's blanket policy (until and unless we are advised differently). If you choose to have sharing buttons of other platforms, if you have widgets which are non-Google, if you monetize in or affiliate in any way, shape or form, if you apply items such as Mailchimp or Feedburner... etc etc etc... any privacy statement must include paragraphs relevant to them. Iubenda is being touted as the place to go for producing privacy statements. It is certainly not advisable just to copy and paste from another site, as privacy policies must pertain to each specific page and the tools used which may gather information. 


Image from Unsplash
...It's a minefield... It has taken years off my life trying to wade through the legislation. Reading other amateur pages has only added to the confusion, so decided to go to the source (that link in the header). A headache there is that it focuses on business and doesn't really incorporate bloggers at our level and I am guessing the assumption is that the umbrella business - i.e. Google in our case - will do the necessary to cover us. However, we cannot take this for 100% for granted.  

Sigh...





18 comments:

  1. Well ours is a Mom and Kit blog w no ads etc so we will just sail along as we have been for almost 9 years.
    Hugs Madi and mom

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    Replies
    1. Hari OM
      Please read the new privacy page Cecilia; no one is exempt. No one. It is not just about advertising. By having comments, followers and email sign-up permitted on your blog, it is capturing certain data. Then there are the cookies. Google will cover much of this but it is safest to be clear to your readers from the EU that you acknowledge their right to privacy and that you have no direct access to their info (assuming you don't) and for all else, they should refer to Google's privacy update. The fact the current response from Google on the forum is to seek independent legal advice is very concerning, so at least get that basic acknowledgement going. I know it's a headache, but frankly, I can't afford any kind of fine, no matter how slim the potential. I spent today updating four blogs with variants to suit them. It all goes legal in four hours from time of this response. Like that last image says... Yxx

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    2. Madi's mum had written back saying she is just in blogging for fun... to which I say...
      Hari OM
      As do we all darling... however the misbehaviours of places like Amazon and Facebook (and Google to a lesser degree) has raised the hackles of the EU and this is all about putting the control back in the hands of the end user. It is, ultimately, a good thing for all of us - it has caused me no end of ickyness trying to get my head around it. Having done this now though, at least have made all efforts and let's see whether Google get their act into gear. I have responded to Sandra's comment with a link to the stock standard response currently showing up all over the place on forum. Yxx

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  2. Maybe it is time to go back to pen and paper:)

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    Replies
    1. Hari OM
      The forums are full of concern, but the general consensus is "don't panic!" That said, as I have responded to Cecilia above, it is important to cover with at least a basic privacy page... Yxx

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  3. I had not heard about this, but after reading your post have been researching for blogger, and since I don't collect any data I don't think I will have to do anything. thanks for the heads up... I am sure when the 25 hits this week end there will be lots going on with more info...

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    1. Hari OM
      Sandra, please read my response to Cecilia... comments, followers and email enrolment all gather data as well as the cookies which are a part of online now. Until it is 100% clear that Google is going to cover Blogger and that too for 100%, at least consider a basic privacy as suggested to C. You can read HERE the stock standard response that is being given continually by 'experts' on Google forum and it is beginning to s*** everyone off I must say. This thing is a monster. A very serious tyrannosaurus rexionopolis. I'm taking no chances... Yxx

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  4. Thank you for your informative post. I have seen much on GDPR - mostly on Facebook but never gave much attention to, hoping it was something that really wouldn't pertain to me. Like many others, I got into blogging strictly for fun - that was in 2008. I now have a Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest accounts and eventually an Instagram account and me and my Ladiez are influencers for two different pet supply companies no money is exchanged just treats and food which does save me money but a little cash would be helpful. I'll be the first to admit, it does intimidate me a little and I have given some small thought to just shutting down all accounts but I don't really want to do this and now since retirement, it is kind of a main source of social contact for me. It does make me angry this is happening - I wouldn't be surprised to see some blogs shut down because of this for the simple reason that they got into blogging for fun and don't want the extra hassle of complying with this rule. I am hoping to do a little research on it, do only that which is needed to keep "big brother" happy and off my back. Right now I have a big plumbing problem - the repairman is finally due tomorrow then an errand to do Friday so hopefully this weekend will have time to look into it more. I fear that even doing whatever I do will eventually not be enough. Oh well - such is cyber life.
    Mom Kim
    Lady Shasta'n Miss Maizie

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    1. Hari OM
      Hiya Kim and Lady s and Miss M!!!
      Thank you for taking time visit and read this today. I know it seems overwhelming, but the thing is it is being done so that all of us (though it is engendered by the EU) have more control over our data. All it is about is alerting folk what it is that we do on our blogs and how much (if any) means that we personally gather any data from our readers - if you read mine (page tab up top) you will get the drift. It just seems hard because it is a legal requirement, (I spent five days researching this and it felt like wading through molasses - and I am a researcher!), but really, if you use one of the basic free policy generators plugging in the info such as you gave here, you should be fine. Then, whenever a visitor from the EU hits your site, they can make a decision if they want to leave data or use your links - or ask to be removed from any mailing lists or such like. The real basis of this legislation is to ensure that when we, the end users and customers wish to have our records scrubbed, it actually happens and doesn't get kept and misused.

      Truly, we on Blogger ought to be covered for most of our stuff by Google, but as I have repeated above, there is something of a silence on this at the moment... and I suspect it is because a lot of bloggers, like yourself, are affiliating and monetizing - which is absolutely fine, but will mean having to be that much more transparent about what info is collected and what is used by said blogs. Google will be leery of taking full responsibility because many bloggers 'outsource' elements of their pages and a lot don't even use Blogger-generated templates anymore... I will be keeping a very close eye on the forums and product shelf of Google - but what may become obvious on Friday if you visit here or other EU blogs, is that they will simply have implemented the necessary changes without telling us. Hey ho...

      Blogging is fun - it will remain fun - but we will need to take a bit more responsibility for being tech-savvy; having these ready-made platforms has led us all into a false sense of security! Just another little hurdle. Sending love and wishes to you dear ones. Yxx

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  5. Thank you! What a headache! I'll be going back to your post when I'm home and I can add a statement to my blog. It sounds as if we can just link our readers to the Google statement. However, it sounds as if I need to look into this more closely. Thanks for the heads up.

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  6. It is getting more confusing every year or maybe i'm just getting older.
    Merle.......

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  7. Yikes! If Ma's brain wasn't in enough of a fog.....
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥

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  8. yes, it is a minefield and like always when the unhowly EU plans something it hits the wrong people... my condolence to all german bloggers who have to deal with chargeable cease and desist orders more than ever now...at least some lawyers get rich that's a kind of economic upswing too....

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  9. Oh my! We will have mom see if she can make some sense of all this
    hugs
    Hazel & Mabel

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  10. Replies
    1. Hari OM
      Mine too, Janice... I do think that most of we small bloggers can not fret too much - for now - but there will be an inevitable filter down. Here in Europe, though, this is VERY BIG, but of course, all sites which can be accessed by EU citizens have to comply. The forums are buzzing with frustration at the moment as Google has held silence on what it is doing, if anything, for the blogger platform... sigh... Yxx

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  11. Blogger automatically added it to mine, then assured me it would be seen in the UK. They told me to visit my blog URL and instead of blogspot.ca, to change it to blogspot.co.uk , but it automatically goes back to .ca ! Technology. Just grand! I don't know it their automatic message works or not. At this point, they ought to just take care of it. sigh.

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  12. I am still not sure whether the 'cookies' google usage is showing on my blog and google's directions are a 'nightmare' ~ need help ~ so thanks for this post ~

    Happy Weekend to you,
    C & Z

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