I work for a non-profit in the United States. We are looking at implementing re-targeting, however, our legal department is concerned about us violating "EU Cookie Law". We are a local non-profit serving a very specific region of a state, but we do get a small percentage of traffic from EU countries.

Before legal spends the time on researching the EU law, they asked me if I'd be willing to just ban all traffic from EU. I would prefer not to. The only reasons I could think of is individuals in EU may be finding our health content helpful, and backlinking to it, or an IP address may block an important crawling bot. I can't imagine it's a large scale though. And that traffic only serves to pad the metrics currently, it doesn't convert to anything.

Are there any issues with blocking traffic from EU?

  • 1
    What sort of issues are you asking about - legal issues? Technical issues?
    – Tim Malone
    Jun 11, 2016 at 6:54
  • 3
    The EU law does not apply to you. Tell the legal department to either read the law, or hire actual attorneys. This is a non-issue. Plus, it certainly costs almost nothing to post a notice that complies with the law. Again, it does not apply to you at all so do not sweat it. Cheers!
    – closetnoc
    Jun 11, 2016 at 15:24
  • @closetnoc From what I've read of the law, if you have visitors from the EU, you have to comply.
    – EnigmaRM
    Jun 11, 2016 at 16:24
  • @TimMalone Ss far as issues, just curious if there is any repercussions for blocking IPs from those countries. Things that I haven't considered.
    – EnigmaRM
    Jun 11, 2016 at 16:24
  • 1
    If you have a website in the EU and serves the EU, then you have to comply. Think of it this way. EU laws do not apply in the U.S. Period. Otherwise, any looney tunes politician can write any law, get it passed, and U.S. residents have to comply. This is not, nor has ever been the case.
    – closetnoc
    Jun 11, 2016 at 16:28

1 Answer 1


Here is my take on this:

Firstly, ask the "legal team" to explain to you what a cookie is, and how that law protects users. Remind the "legal team" that the out-of-touch "politicians" who made that "law" didn't actually understand what a cookie is either, what a cookie shares around, and therefore didn't understand how futile their "law" would be at protecting anything/anyone's privacy whatsoever.

Secondly, show the "legal team" this: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/07/tech-industry-gangs-up-on-european-commission-calls-for-cookie-law-to-be-scrapped/ and imply to them that this "law" is not going to stick for much longer, mostly because of the first reason mentioned above [incompetatant polititions].

Finally, you are fine to ignore it if you are outside the EU. They are not going to do anything anyways. But to comply is very easy -- as in you don't have to make a fancy popup (that ironically uses cookies) or actually get a users consent. All you have to do is add "By using this site you agree to our cookie policy" as a link to your privacy policy/terms with a basic cookie audit in those docs. Put this in the footer of your site(s) beside the copyright. Just like any other types of terms, by using the service they agree to the service. If they do not agree, they are violating your terms and must discontinue use of the service.

A link takes like 10 seconds to implement and it's buried way below the fold. No one cares anyways, and the only reason they click "I agree" on popups/bars is to get it out of their face [viewport]. Better to convert (+$$) then to annoy visitors (-$$). Legal teams, spending time/cash, and annoying visitors means this: (---$$) which is surely what your company doesn't want to do.

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