Saturday, February 11, 2023

Jump-starting Grace Notes: Unexpected Difficulties

     My last post may have been overoptimistic.  In assuming everything was converging and the rebuilding would begin, I didn't think (or really even KNOW) about Cookie Consent.  On the surface, it seems like a great idea.  Protect people's privacy.  I'm all for it.
    What I'm not for, is making it so darned complicated to do, that I came close to giving up on Grace Notes.

    A decade ago, all a blogger had to worry about was having a decent privacy policy.  Now, you also need a Cookie Consent policy, and some kind of widget to prevent people from viewing your website until they:

A - acknowledged and approved cookies
B - chose to block cookies entirely
C - or left your website.

    This assumes a LOT of technical ability that I lack. I used to be pretty good on computers, but this overwhelmed and depressed me.  The more I learned, the harder it became.  You can't just post an info page for people to read.  It has to be some kind of blocker, that stops people until they decide what to do.  Technically, there's apparently a requirement to track the names and identifications for everybody that clicked "I Understand" on my blog.  
    Honestly, isn't that ironic?  They want me to maintain a list of private data, of people who allow cookies to track their private data.  Maybe a better word would be redundant.

    Anyway, I've been stuck on this for over a week.  In the old days, there were plenty of friendly bloggers and guides that helped me figure out every complicated issue, because they learned how, and wanted to share.  Now, the web is full of professional sites that require you to sign up, to get their solutions.  Some are free, but still, it's discouragingly rare to find a helpful soul just sharing their knowledge.
    To top it off, the few I've found aren't offering working solutions.  They're outdated, or incorrect, or maybe they're just skipping steps that they assume I already know.  The even fewer guides I've actually been able to follow, either haven't worked... or made disconcerting changes to the blog.  Like the one that turned all my text the wrong color.

    First off... why isn't there a standard widget for this?  So many other functions have been 'widgetized.'

    Beyond that, and a much bigger question, why aren't the companies who CREATE the cookies being held responsible?  Instead of leaving it to a hodgepodge of more or less (or MUCH less) internet savvy folks sitting at home trying to figure this out... Why doesn't the cookie itself include the "click to acknowledge" button? 
    Then, compliance wouldn't be up to millions of independent web-owners who may or may not understand how to accomplish the task.  It would be up to the company that already knows how to program the cookies and make them work!!  It would be problem/solution in one transparent solution.  

At this point, I think there's light on the horizon.  More details coming in the next post.

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