EU Cookie Legislation and Your Chartbeat Data

May 8th, 2012 by Daniel

What’s a cookie and how does Chartbeat use them? Most data providers track certain visitor behavior by using cookies. Cookies can tell things like the difference between a new and returning visitor. That way you can deliver content that makes sense for them. That return-state of a visitor is the one and only way Chartbeat uses cookies, never for any kind of personally identifiable information collecting or monitoring. You can read all about how we pull data in our technical docs. How does the EU Cookie Legislation affect Chartbeat? Recently, the EU passed legislation governing how websites can collect and use these cookies (as well as similar visitor tracking techniques like HTML5 LocalStorage). This law discusses website visitors’ options regarding the cookies set on their browser. While each country in the EU has yet to finalize how and when they’re putting the law into effect, the UK has done so already. Lots of our client partners are in the UK, so we’ve made this transition an easy one for you guys. We’ve already updated our JavaScript to work without setting cookies. Here’s how to do it. Within your Chartbeat JavaScript, just set an option in your configuration to disable cookies:

With noCookies set, the Chartbeat cookie (_chartbeat2) will never be created. How does this change affect what I’ll see in my dashboard? As we mentioned, Chartbeat currently only uses cookies to track if a user is new or returning. So, when you set noCookies to true, Chartbeat will not be able to tell if a user is new or returning. In the future, other metrics may depend on the presence of the cookie, but we’ll keep you posted on anything that does. Depending on your implementation, you may have some visitors allow cookies and some not. If that’s the case, Chartbeat would report new and returning values for only the visitors who have allowed cookies. As always, if you have any questions hit up our Chartcorps on Twitter or via email.