Doc Pop’s News Drop: How To Make Your WordPress Site GDPR Compliant

Doc’s WordPress News Drop is a weekly report on the most pressing WordPress news. When the news drops, I will pick it up and deliver it right to you.

In this week’s News Drop we talk about the best WordPress plugins to help you reach GDPR compliance by the May 25th deadline as well as what the WordPress core team is doing to make WordPress compliant too.

We also hear some behind the scenes news from WordCamp Europe about some of the GDPR workshops and sessions at WCEU.

Love WordPress news, but hate reading? My name is Doc and this is Doc Pop’s News Drop.

If you are a web developer based out of Europe, you’re probably pretty familiar with the General Data Protection Regulation legislation that was enacted in 2016 to help protect the personal data of European Union citizens. The GDPR is an updated version of a the Data Protection Directive of 1995 with more specific restrictions on what sort of data sites collect using cookies, newsletter sign ups, and ecommerce. The new law goes into effect on May 25th, so let’s talk about how the GDPR’s effect on WordPress. But first-

I am not a lawyer. Check with a lawyer.

You might be thinking, “hey, I live in the US, I don’t need to worry about the GDPR”, well your wrong! Or at least you could be if your company does business with EU residents or collects personal information of EU residents (through cookies, email sign ups, optin forms, etc).

So what happens if you site isn’t GDPR compliant? We’ll, I’m still not sure on that. The GDPR has listed maximum penalties that you could endure, but it also states that all penalties must be “proportionate to the offense, and dissuasive.” so that’s… kind of vague.

If you have a small company, it’s unlikely that failure to comply will result in the $20 million Euro maximum fine, but hey… like I said, I’m not a lawyer. but lets assume you do want to err on the side of caution.


WP GDPR Compliance
by Fan Ons
This plugin is meant to be a one stop shop for keeping your ecommerce site GDPR compliant and promises to constantly update to stay compliant with the laws, but I should stress this focuses mainly on the ecommerce side of things.

Auto Terms of Service and privacy
by wp autoterms
Having a Terms of Service isn’t a bad idea, in fact it supposedly even helps with SEO rankings. AutoTerms of Service helps you easily list your TOS and helps you stay GDPR compliant. Install the plugin, go to settings and fill out all the fields with asterixes beside them. Pretty straightforward.

by sidebolt AS
A big part of the GDPR is about warning your users when you use tools like cookies to collect data. If your site uses cookies, you can stay compliant by using Cookiebot to display a warning at the top of your page. This dialog only appears the first time a user visits your site, then goes away. Well, it goes away unless they clear their cookies obviously. You get the idea.

As far as WordPress itself, the GDPR Compliance Team is hoping to address these new issues and add them to WordPress Core. The team hopes to:

*Add functionality to assist site owners in creating comprehensive privacy policies for their websites.
*Create guidelines for plugins to become GDPR ready.
*Add administration tools to facilitate compliance and encourage user privacy in general.
*Add documentation to educate site owners on privacy, the main GDPR compliance requirements, and on how to use the new privacy tools.

While WordPress sort of has a privacy policy, the team aims to add tools for site owners, such as adding a new “privacy” page under the tools menu that will add a dedicated page for your site’s policy.

They’ll also be adding privacy information from plugins and add a funcionality to confirm user requests by email address to help secure downloading or displaying of that user’s personal data.

There’s a lot of work to be done here, so if you are interested in helping, reach out to the GDPR Compliance Team by joining the #gdpr-compliance channel in the Make WordPress Slack group.

With all of that talk about GDPR, lets check in with Jenny Beaumont to hear more behind the scenes updates from WordCamp Europe.

If you are interested in learning more about GDPR, I imagine there will be a lot of great talks at WCEU this year to learn from.

What are your thoughts on the European Union’s stricter privacy laws? Should other countries enact similar laws? Let us know in the commments below.

That’s it for this week’s news drop, thanks for watching, stay tuned next week for more WordPress news.

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

The post Doc Pop’s News Drop: How To Make Your WordPress Site GDPR Compliant appeared first on Torque.

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