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What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

Anonymous
Not applicable

What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

Out of curiosity and a hint of distrust I’ve got the FireFox Developer tools open on this site and I’m curious to know the answer to the following.

Because I can, I have configured my browser to delete all cookies on exit, meaning that I’m prompted to accept cookies when I land on the site and from the options presented I select the “essential only” option to allow the site to work as intended without any fluff.

As the option title implies I only want essential cookies so I am curious as to why I still see a prompt for the survey, and a cookie set in the jar as a consequence.

You may think I’m being over [-Censored-] about this, but as far as I am concerned my participation, or not, in the survey is by no means essential to the operation of the site so why is the popup still produced?

Based on the above I would like to see the Survey popup removed when the essential cookies option is applied, but is this a possibility?

23 REPLIES 23
pjmarsh
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Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

I'd have thought that the pop up asking you about the survey isn't directly connected to the cookie settings.  What I'm meaning is they aren't asking you anything about the survey when you are setting your cookie preferences.  The "essential" cookie though is to record that you've done the survey or turned it down, which is essential to the running of the site, else you would potentially be asked on every page if you wanted to do the survey.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

I know what you mean @pjmarsh, but my point is that having selected the Essential option then the survey popup should not appear as my participation in it is not essential to the operation of the site, so there is no need to store an additional cookie, as the question should never be asked.

pjmarsh
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Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

I get the point you are making, but the essential option is about cookies, not about the other functions of community.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

Yes, I am well aware of that. But in order to store my response to the popup a new cookie is created; a cookie that, by no stretch if the imagination is essential to the operation of the site. So the only way to prevent its creation it to stop the popup from appearing in the first place.

pjmarsh
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Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

I'd have thought though that the only way to stop the creation of that cookie would be for it not to be created and you to receive the popup on every page regardless of what you do from that popup.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

That is an option but as any participation in the survey is not site essential to my use of the site then the easiest answer is not to ask the question.

Townman
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Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

Might this be better looked at as “the cookie is essential to record your decision to not participate in the survey (or have participated) in order to STOP being asked again”? The cookie does not give rise to the prompt, it inhibits the prompt.

Setting aside the debate about the inappropriateness of recording this choice client side, if this cookie were not retained as essential then every visit would result in the request to participate being displayed again.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

OK @Townman, ask yourself these questions.

Is the presentation of the popup essential to the operation of the site?
Is the user’s decision to participate in the survey essential to the operation of the site?

The answer to these questions is, as we all know, is No.

With that said, when a user selects “Essential” then this should prevent the popup from being displayed as it has no significance to the user’s continued use of the site.

Townman
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Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

Hi Mook,

This is a chicken and egg situation. This question / context is about the storage of cookies, not a decision on the execution of code (functionality).

We might agree or disagree on what is essential functionality - yes the site could function without the survey pop-up, but like it or not it is there.

The pop-up does not appear because there’s a cookie present PERMITTING is display, the cookie is present to INHIBIT it’s display, consequential to doing the survey or declining the invitation. Therefore as implemented the cookie is essential ... if you do not want to be perpetually nagged. It therefore falls in the first classification of essential.

Should the survey be there?
Should the I decline / I’ve done it marker be stored server side?

... are very valid questions, but are quite different to “Is this cookie essential given how this functionality has been implemented?”. In context, I’d argue the answer is unequivocally “Yes”.

Looking at the bigger picture your argument that the survey is not essential to the primary function of the forum is very sound, but that’s not the space it’s operating in. As ever your presence in the SU space is sadly missed.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

[-Censored-] @Townman I'm not a [-Censored-]ing idiot, so don't treat me like one.

JayCee
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-02-2018

Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

The correct answer was given to you above.
They are only placing a cookie to let them know:
i. You've done the survey.
ii. You don't want to do the survey.

If they didn't you would get asked every single page if you want to do the survey.

What you are asking really isn't feasible with how websites operate. They would have to integrate the survey into the user account where you could check a box to not be asked or track in a complicated way who has been asked to complete the survey.

Some people are over paranoid about a website using a cookie. It's an integral part of how websites work.
3rd party/tracking cookies can easily be blocked. Expecting a site to use none just isn't going to happen.

The quickest and easiest way to deploy a pop-up notice/survey/etc to everyone who visits the site and not show this over and over again is to use a cookie.

Some cookies can be bad for you, but just don't eat too many of them.

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Post released from Spam Filter.

Townman
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Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

Had no intention of doing so - seems we been at cross purposes?

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

That certainly may not have been your intention @Townman but I would have thought with the interaction we have had you would have known that you do not need to tell me how a web site works. Your response (10) above has an air of “Oh dear he still doesn’t get it, I’d better dumb it down and explain a few things.” A prime example (apart from the sentence) is the use of capitalisation for emphasis here:

"The pop-up does not appear because there’s a cookie present PERMITTING is display, the cookie is present to INHIBIT it’s display, …"

And this is exactly my point, I am of the opinion that the cookie should never be created as it is non-essential to the continued use of the site so if the question were never asked there would be no cookie, hence the topic title.

Lastly, your reference to the space in which the survey is operating in is as I see it quite wrong. It is working in the same space, it appears in front of me while I use the forum. But if I have missed something then please elaborate.

 

ejs
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Re: What is Plusnet's definition of "essential"?

Due to the way the website has been implemented, the survey cookie could be considered essential to make the survey popup stay away.

You think the website should have been done differently.

 

On reading Plusnet's cookie policy, it does sound like the survey cookie should be classed as a functional cookie.

We use functional cookies to:

  • Remember if we've already asked you if you want to fill in a survey

Therefore with functional cookies switched off, there should be no survey cookie set, and you can expect to be repeatedly asked if you want to do the survey since it won't remember your answer.