Important Notice: – The #GDPR in Effect May 25, 2018 Is Your Blog Ready?

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Newsflash

 

You may have seen some articles around the internet speaking about the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law that comes into effect May 25th, 2018. To be quite honest, I’m still trying to grasp all the rules involved with this change and have read quite a few articles about it, which I will share here with you.

 

This law has to do with the privacy policies used with shared data accumulated by having people sign up to our blogs and websites. The law was written for EU citizens that visit websites and fill out their information to sign up for updates and also just to be able to comment on blogs. The catch is, even if we are not from the EU, as long as we have visitors to our blogs from those countries, we can be held responsible if our privacy policies are not clear. And from what I’ve read, there can be heavy fines for those who do not comply.

I am far from knowing everything as the reading about all this can be quite intensive, but I’ve learned that the bare bones of this is to do two important things: Make sure you have added the GDPR addition clause on any campaign emails you are sending to your readers by email. That way any new subscribers to your blogs and websites will automatically have signed and ticked off the appropriate boxes on the form when they sign up to receive your emails. Make sure you’ve added the new GDPR policy to your existing outgoing campaigns and any new mailouts by inserting it into the form on your provider’s page (I use Mailchimp). Be sure to send out a separate campaign to your current subscribers to allow them to re-confirm they have signed up to receive emails from you.

There is also a WordPress plugin we can add to our blog sites available that will get permissions before bloggers comment on our blogs. For those who are not self-hosted, I should think that WordPress will implement this plugin with their updates, but you should still get some sort of a notification.

I have created a new email campaign that will go out this evening to my subscribers of this blog. I would appreciate that any of you who have previously signed up to receive emails from me will comply by clicking on the ‘update’ button at the bottom of that email, which will enable you to continue receiving posts from me as I will be doing for those same emails I’ll no doubt be receiving in coming days and weeks from many of you.

The buzz is just starting to get more attention on the internet as the compliance date nears into effect. Like I said, I still don’t know the nitty gritty of all of this but I am going to share some very helpful links I came across where tips are offered on how to go about adapting to these changes.

Note: – If you are using Mailchimp, they have a preset form with GDPR compliance request inserted in the post you can send off to your current subscribers. Many popular email services have this ready for their subscriber lists, but it’s up to us to send them out.

 

Here are some links that will explain GDPR much better than I can:

 

From WordPress.comhttps://en.support.wordpress.com/automattic-gdpr/

 

Thank you Hugh Roberts for this link for WP.com usershttps://en.blog.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/new-privacy-features-and-updated-policies/

 

Great up-to-date info for bloggers – https://createifwriting.com/gdpr-faqs/

 

A great post from Nicholas Rossis on GDPR – http://nicholasrossis.me/2018/05/15/gdpr-and-authors-what-you-need-to-know/

 

Another insightful post on GDPR from author Doris Heilmann of 111 Publishing – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-does-gdpr-mean-your-blog-newsletter-website-doris-maria-heilmann/?published=t

 

What is GDPR and WHY the Heck Should You Care?

 

Mailchimp help for adding GDPR to all forms – https://kb.mailchimp.com/accounts/management/collect-consent-with-gdpr-forms

 

More tools from Mailchimp – https://blog.mailchimp.com/gdpr-tools-from-mailchimp/

 

WordPress Plugins to download for compliance with GDPR to be included in comments and forms from your blog – https://wordpress.org/plugins/tags/gdpr/

 

This process is ongoing and tedious, especially for non-techie bloggers. Some of the plugins require some code work and more, which I am clueless about. I have chosen to add this plugin below

WP GDPR Compliance

I think my job is not yet complete after updating my mail out forms and adding the above plugin which should now ask readers to tick off a compliant box before commenting. I have seen a ‘Cookie’ banner pop up on many blogs I follow, regarding the policies used for cookies on a blog. Most of the plugins I’ve read about installing ask for some ‘techie’ tweaks to be done that I have no clue about. If any of you added that policy to your blog, would you be kind enough to share which plugin you used. I have just downloaded this one:

Cookie Consent

We bloggers all need to work together to help each other to stay informed of what we’re learning about this new law. If we don’t comply the fines are staggering amounts as you will read in the link above – Great up-to-date info for bloggers.

I hope I’ve helped here in some way and if any of you have any knowledge to contribute here, I welcome it in comments. 🙂

 

Name: D.G. Kaye job Title: Author Business: DGKayewriter.com, Image: https://dgkayewriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/news-alert.jpg Facebook Url: Facebook Twitter Url: Twitter Instagram Url: Instagram LinkedIn Url: LinkedIn Pinterest Url: Pinterest Google+ Url: Google+

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GDPR Privacy Policy

Please visit this link for GDPR compliance. https://dgkayewriter.com/cookie-privacy-policies-gdpr-compliance/

60 Comments

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  1. I get at least 5 or 6 reminders every week about this–75% from some part of Google. Procrastinator that I am and with my currently foggy brain, I’ve been putting it off
    Glad I did as you are noting plugins are coming. Still, can’t put it off much longer. Thanks for the info and prompt. Oh and I like your little disclosures in the comment form!

    1. Thanks John. I was avoiding it too, but am scared of the fines so I’m still investigating as I add plugins and policies. So not what I signed up for LOL. 🙂 And oddly, it won’t show me the disclosures in the comment form, arg.

  2. I have tried to use some of the pluggins but have had some problems as they started requesting things and blocking comments and they were not easy to set. I’ve read that WordPress would be implementing something tomorrow, but I haven’t been able to find that information myself. Thanks for the headsup on the Mailchimp thing. I don’t send e-mails very often but I’ll make sure to check it up.

    1. It’s all so confusing Olga but necessary. I have shared what I’ve done so far here on this post 1) Update your forms on Mailchimp 2) add a WP GDPR compliance plug to enable readers to agree to policies and 3) added a cookie plugin where readers have options to opt out of certain data collection. According to what I’ve read the plugins will send updates as they become necessary. I spent many hours searching out the 2 plugins I have added. If you’re self hosted, try giving them a go. You can get them by clicking on ‘add new’ plugin in your dashboard and typing in GDPR and/or cookies in the search bar. Good luck! 🙂 x

  3. I don’t send out any mailing lists or use mass mailings of any kind. I am not self hosted and will see what WordPress are supplying. I would certainly talk to the service providers for self-hosted sites and see what provisions they have made..

    1. Thanks Sal. But remember, you already live in the UK and you have UK readers so compliances must be met to operate our websites. With every comment, WP collects data, this is what they must give readers a choice to have their data stored. That’s what the cookies private policy is for to give the readers the choice to tick off a box. It’s so complicated. I should think that WP.com should be implementing this or at least advising. 🙂 <3

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this, Deb. I hope WP will add the GDPR Compliance Plugin to the list of allowable plugins for those of us with the free plan. The majority of plugins are available only to those with the business plan or those on WP.org. I have no idea how to contact subscribers to my blog. Does WP address this in one of the links you’ve given above? I wonder if they’ll notify us my email or just make it a blog post. I’m not very consistent about reading the WP blog. Guess it’s time to mend my ways 🙂 ❤️

    1. Tina, this link may help you https://www.gdprwp.com/ I know WP has to comply so they should update you as in the link they have notified plugin creators. I know your not self hosted but you own the name and not sure if you’re able to download plugins. The ones I loaded are free. I never pay for plugins. You can go into your dashboard > Plugins and click ‘add new’ then a whole bunch of plugins start to show up then type GDPR in the search bar and see what’s available and make sure it’s compatible if you download one. I hope this helps <3

  5. Thanks. Very useful and time consuming information! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome Carol 🙂 x

  6. I haven’t used my mailchimp since last year. So far most of the emails requesting compliance with GDPR that have come out are from outside the US, and for self-hosted websites. I would think wordpress dot com has this figured out, but those using mailchimp or other data-gathering services have to at least check a box. I’ve noticed this just recently with the Greek-owned InLinkz, each time you add a link, you must now check a box. I suppose it’s a good thing.

    1. I read somewhere that WP is working on it so there should be an update soon. And yes, I’ve been ticking boxes on a few blogs now for a few weeks. People are getting ready. 🙂

  7. Hello Debby! Thanks so much for sharing this information. I’m going to look into this. 😀 xx

    1. Very welcome Vashti. Good luck with it, lol. 🙂 xx

  8. Thank you for this detailed post Debby! I guess I’ll need to get things updated soon. I wasn’t thinking about it until your post so I really appreciate it.

    1. My pleasure Bonnie. I’d been putting it off, but the time has cone, lol. Good luck with it. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more buzz in the coming week(s) 🙂

  9. Thank you so much, Debby, this is a wonderful post about the new thing that has me shaking my head. <3

    1. Ya, join the club Adele. LOL 🙂 <3 Glad to help out where I can. xx

  10. To me, this is a WordPress problem, not mine. I have no control over how WordPress uses names and addresses. I’m going to assume they’ll comply with the law. Since I’m not self-hosted, they should take care of that for me.

    As for MailChimp, I only started to build a mailing list, and I’m unsure if I want to put the time into it, so . . . perhaps I’ll just stop. I don’t want several hours of my time eaten up by this nonsense. I just don’t have it to waste at this time in my life.

    I follow many blogs and subscribe to many newsletters, and this is the first I heard of it. Your confirmation message was the only one I received.

    1. Thanks for chiming in Diane. I do hear you about WP.com is responsible for adding all the necessary changes, but as Hugh Roberts said above in comments, there are a few things left to do, like add the banner. He left a link in his comment and I’m adding it to this post. And no kidding, this stuff is too time consuming for those who don’t have the time or the inclination. 🙂

  11. Hi Debby. Such valuable information, thank you.

    WordPress released this document this morning.

    https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/new-privacy-features-and-updated-policies/

    They also have an ‘EU Law Cookie Banner widget’ which every WordPress user should have attached to their blog. However, it’s up to each blogger to insert that widget (it’s easy to do).

    I’ve not seen anything from WordPress (apart from the above link) telling their users what (if anything) they have to do (I’m referring to those bloggers who have WordPress.com blogs). I can’t see them not doing anything. At best, they will do all the work for their customers (like they do with protecting users from spam), but if there is anything users have to do, then I’m sure they will issue a post about it. Of course, not everyone will read that post (if one does come out) so I’m hoping they will do everything needed for those who have WordPress.com blogs. I’ll let you know when they release any more details.

    I don’t have my own mailing list, but I know that Sacha is doing a talk about them at the Bloggers Bash. I’ve had emails from some bloggers, whose email lists I subscribed too, about this new law, but not everyone.

    1. Thank you so much Hugh for adding to the conversation. I somehow knew you’d have something to share with us. I am going to add your link here to the post for the .com bloggers. Much appreciated, and I know between you and I, we will keep updated. 🙂 xx

      1. You’re welcome, Debby. I know you saw the post over at Olga’s as well. She included another link about this. It confirms that WordPress is putting processes into place for those who have WordPress.com blogs. That tells me that those bloggers don’t need to anything, although I will wait until WordPress themselves confirm those details.

        Here’s the link from Olga’s blog.

        https://support.pipdig.co/articles/gdpr-for-bloggers/

        By the way (just to let you know) the ‘like’ icon under each comment on this post does not seem to be working on your blog. It just says ‘loading.’ I can send you over a screenshot if you need one.

        1. Thank you again so much Hugh. Yes, I did happen to see Olga’s post too. Thanks for sharing, and I’ve added your first link to the post for the .com bloggers. And thanks for letting me know about the likes. No doubt with adding 2 new plugins and having to have changed the comments to have checkboxes now, it probably screwed up the likes. I’ll look into that later in the week before I lose another half a day problem solving LOL. 🙂 xx

  12. No need to look into it, Debby. It seems to have sorted itself out, now. The gremlin causing it seems to have left as soon as I reported it to you. 😀
    I’ll keep an eye on it for you, though.
    xx

    1. Lol thanks Hugh. So bizarre! 🙂 xx

  13. Thanks, Debby! I’m starting to understand it a little more…I think. lol. Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

    1. My pleasure Natalie. I know, it was like a crash course I took for 2 days of investigating a million pages 🙂 x

  14. Very helpful, Deb. I added it to my two WP.com sites and now must figure out the self-hosted ones. And Mailchimp. Sigh.

    1. Great Jacqui. Just follow what I commented back to Lisa here. It’s the self hosted is the most at risk so make sure you add a GDPR plugin, and a cookie banner. As for Mailchimp, they make it easy. You can click on the dropdown box on the signup form and it allows you to choose GDPR to add to your forms for new subscribers. Once you install a cookie banner it will automatically create a privacy policy page and you can alter the text or add more. I found a few useful things on Nicholas Rossis’ site that I copied on to my policy page. I presume by next week we’ll be seeing a lot more posts about this change. 🙂

  15. Thank you for this update, Debby. I had no idea. I received the email last night from your site but wasn’t sure if it was legit. Sorry, but I get so many weird spam emails that I’m careful about clicking links, not that I don’t trust you!! So, I’ll fish that email out of my deleted files. I’ll read up on this and probably will install the plug in on my site and mail out the notice to my subscribers.
    Thanks again for the information and sharing your research.

    1. So glad to help Lis. Yes, you must at the GDPR policy to your newsletter and perhaps send out a reconfirm notice for those of us who already subscribe. If you use Mailchimp ( I don’t remember) You can just go to your campaigns then forms and add the GDPR policy to the singup form, it’s there to add in the dropdown box. That way it’s all set for new subscribers. Then add the GDPR plugin and the cookie banner plugin and you should be set. 🙂 x Oh, and make sure your signup forms are ‘double opt-in’ 🙂

  16. Confusing for many of us. I’m hoping they give some lee-way until we figure it out, lol

    1. Lol Jacquie, the notice began 2 years ago! Only most of us had no clue what they were talking about in emails and notifications and so we ignored. Next week it’s time to be set up. 🙂

  17. Thank you DG, I’ve hopefully updated your site accurately and won’t it won’t cause any problems for either of us. Technology for an old lady like me can be pretty intimidating. <3

    1. LOl, thanks Ellie for updating. And since you’re on WP.com I should think they should do most of the heavy lifting and send you notifications of what isn’t covered. <3

  18. Yikes. What? I’m one of those non-techie bloggers. The GKRRD*^)? The Plug-In – like my toaster? Yikes. I better look into those links you supply here, Debby. Thanks for the heads up (or should I say, the Plugs Up…?) xo

    1. Lol Pam. If you own your own website, you better hop to it. If you’re on WP.com, they should be doing most of the heavy lifting. 🙂

  19. Hi Debby, I’ve spent a couple of hours reading your post and following the links and trying to work things out. Thank you for doing all the hard work and finding the information and so generously sharing it with us. I sent out my MailChimp email for people to confirm their subscription to the readilearn newsletter (I hope some do!) I’ve tried to install the WP widget on my eponymous site but it’s not showing up. Maybe it’s not allowed as I paid for a theme. I can’t install plugins on my blog, so hopefully WP will come up with another solution. I do very much appreciate you support in getting this sorted. I’d received a few emails, but except for the one about Google Analytics, had completely ignored them, and, until I received your email asking me to resubscribe, I didn’t think anything needed to be done. I assume my privacy policy on readilearn does the trick. It’s pretty clear. So hopefully, once WP has something, I’ll be set. It’s a bit scary sending out emails asking people to confirm their subscription, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. 🙂 I was hoping to catch up on some of your other posts tonight, but this is as far as I’ve got. Another day. 🙂

    1. Hi Norah. I’m glad you found my post helpful and have a better understanding of the seriousness of the GDPR. I know how time consuming it is that’s why I was happy to share some of the most helpful links I searched for and read about myself. Great you sent out your reconfirmation now for Mailchimp. I hope you also updated your ‘signup’ form by adding the GDPR clause that Mailchimp will now attach to future emails.
      Yes, when you don’t own your own domain, I’ve heard from others they can’t install plugins. This leads me to believe WP should be looking after that within its next update. I went to your site and saw your cookie banner so you’re good their. Once WP installs the permissions part, I should think we should start seeing what you now see on my blog when you leave a comment, you have to tick off the box before commenting informing consent.
      We shall all keep each other informed as the date draws nearer. 🙂

      1. Hi Deb and Norah, just wanted to chime in here. I read that it wasn’t necessary to have current subscribers re-subscribe, so I’m going with that. One thing I may do is check if there are UK addresses on my subscriber list and re-send opt in just to them.

        1. Hi Lis. Yes it seems there is conflicting info out there about not making current subscribers resubscribe. I can’t even be sure who some of my UK subscribers are, and really, it took me 5 minutes to send out a notice with my explanation of why I’m asking to resign and Mailchimps addons do the rest. I just went with better safe than sorry. 🙂 x

  20. Great information, Debby, though to my mind, it all seems so time consuming and BORING!

    1. No kidding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  21. This is awesome, Debby. You’re an angel for pulling this together. What a fun thing to work on while on my blogging break!! Thanks for all the links. I’m super appreciative. Happy Blogging.

    1. Hi Diana! Nice to see you drop by on your blog break! Sorry to find you some new work, but when better to prepare than when you’re on break? Lol 🙂 xx

  22. Debby, a great post highlighting potential problems and thank you for the links! I came across the one from Nicholas earlier and his clear explanation put my mind to rest as far as my blog is concerned. There is a lot for everyone to consider.

    1. Yes, and it’s a pain, but better safe than sorry. It’s great that many are sharing what they’re doing for this compliance. I hope my links are helpful for others. 🙂 x

  23. Thanks for the info, Debby. This GDPR compliance thing sounds like a necessary evil that I don’t really want to deal with… 🙁

    1. Welcome Liesbet. Well you have all the links you need to help you out. Not fun for anyone! 🙁

  24. Thank you, Debby, for this informative post. I now have a self hosted site so will need to try and work this out too.

    1. I know, it’s more work but necessary. I think you have all you need here from me with these additional links to help you get compliant. 🙂

  25. Thanks so much for doing this Debby and I’m ploughing my way through what’s needed on my blog and web site. A thought occurred to me with the email subscribers on my blog; I have no way of removing them if they don’t re-subscribe. p.s. my brain hurts with all this, as I am sure it does for many!! Hugs and thanks again for all the info and sharing my lovely. <3 xX

    1. Hi Jane. Are you self hosted now? If not, don’t worry about the subscribers, WordPress will deal with it. If you are self hosted and send out a mailing with Mailchimp or something of the like, you would just set up a new sendout (premade) by them, adding the appropriate GDPR
      notice and update box. So many headaches, lol. 🙂 <3 xx

  26. Thank you so much for sharing this, Debbie. I had no idea about this at all. I’m with WP.com, not self hosted. As Hugh said, I’m not sure if we’re meant to do anything on our end and it does seem like the responsibility does lie on the individual to make sure we are compliant with the laws. It sort of makes me think that there is internet police out there watching us all. It is all still confusing to me so I will need to come back and go through the links, and also re-read what everyone else has said to get a better idea and wrap my head around this. Much love and thank you <3

    1. I’m glad to help Mabel. And yes. it is both confusing and a pain. It should be easier for you .com users though. I assume they will be taking the necessary precautions and alerting users to what they have to do. The 2 main things are the permission checkboxes under comments for GDPR compliance and the ‘cookies’ banner which you will see many now have on their sites. Stay tuned! 🙂 xx

  27. Great post Debby must add it to the one I wrote. I’m adding useful links for future reference for the day I get round to having an email list.

    1. Good move Marje. Best to get prepared while there is tons of info floating around for this. 🙂

  28. Hi Debby, I am here at last. and ticked your form in agreeing..
    I went to follow the links you provided and came upon a series of questions to WP and one I found interesting which answered a question about Free Domains which mine is..
    The answer from the WP expert said this

    ” Some website owners do yes, mainly businesses that make contractual commitments to their own customers or users about GDPR compliance and need a contract like this DPA to demonstrate that they’ve checked the right boxes with the web host that handles their data (Automattic). Most users of or free plans do not have these types of commitments or concerns, but if they do, the option to get a DPA is available as part of one of our paid plans.”

    So not sure what to do, as I will not be upgrading to a paid site..
    But I found your information valuable Debby.. THANK YOU..

    Love to you as I try to catch up a little.. <3 xx

    1. Welcome back Sue! You don’t own your site, so you won’t have those issues. I believe when WP.com updates they will add the appropriate boxes and banner. I will pop by your blog and let you know what I see. I had to add a plugin with the banner for my site, hopefully WP will do the heavy lifting for you and for the parts they don’t they should notify you. It’s all so confusing. 🙁 <3 xxx

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