Note: This post is part of a blog series about how to get your website setup in order to comply with the recent GDPR regulations. You can find the original article where I walk you through the different things I considered in my GDPR-compliant quest here: Online Entrepreneurs and GDPR: How to Get This Stuff Done!

 

There are some new features that have been released in the past few days in order to help website owners with modifying their WordPress blog comments forms as they deal with privacy policies, data consent, and cookies. Here are 3 different features you may want to add to your website blog comments: 

  1. A cookie consent checkbox
  2. A data storage/handling consent checkbox with a link to your privacy policy
  3. A privacy policy notice for the popular anti-spam plugin, Akismet

 

How to Add Privacy Policy Notices and Consent Checkboxes to your WordPress Comments Forms

Privacy Policy Notices and Consent Checkboxes on WordPress Comments Forms

Below are step-by-step instructions for how to setup each of these things on your WordPress blog comments form. You can pick and choose which one(s) you want to use on your own website. Which feature(s) you want or need to enable will vary from website to website – depending on the regulations of where you live, recommendations from your lawyer, how you are handling your blog comments, etc. If you need advice about how to comply with regulations on cookies and data privacy, please consult with an attorney. I am not giving you legal advice on which features you should use — but instead am giving you the instructions for how to add these features to your website.

Let’s get started!

Cookie Consent Checkbox

Starting with version 4.9.6, WordPress automatically adds a cookie consent checkbox to your blog comment forms. These cookies save data in the website visitor’s browser so that they don’t have to fill in their name, email and website address the next time they want to leave a comment on your blog. This is an optional consent; If they don’t want those cookies saved in their browser, they can un-check this before they submit their comment. 

 

Cookies Consent Checkbox on WordPress Blog Comments Form

Cookies Consent Checkbox on WordPress Blog Comments Form

 

Note: The custom comments form in your Jetpack Comments settings must be turned OFF in order to get this cookie consent checkbox to show up. To make sure this setting is turned off, go to Jetpack > Settings in your WordPress dashboard. Then click on the Discussion tab:

 

Jetpack Settings for Blog Comments

Jetpack Settings for Blog Comments

 

Data Storage/Handling Consent

You can use the WP GDPR Compliance plugin to add a data storage and handling consent checkbox (plus a link to your Privacy Policy!) to your blog comments form. By ticking this checkbox your website visitors consent to you handling their personal data that they enter in this form. (Note: This plugin can also be used for adding a consent checkbox to your contact forms.) 

Data Storage and Handling Consent and Privacy Policy link in WordPress blog comments form

Data Storage and Handling Consent and Privacy Policy link in WordPress blog comments form

 

Here’s how to get this setup:

  1. Install and activate the WP GDPR Compliance plugin on your website.
  2. In your WordPress admin area, go to Tools > WP GDPR Compliance.
  3. Click on the Integration tab at the top.
  4. Enable the WordPress Comments section.
  5. Optional: Edit the Checkbox text (the text you want to appear next to the checkbox).
  6. Optional: Edit the Error message (the text that appears if someone tries to submit their comment without checking this checkbox)
  7. Click the Save Changes button to save your settings.
GDPR checkbox in WordPress blog comments form

Enabling a GDPR checkbox in WordPress blog comments form

 

 

If you want to include a link to your privacy policy in your checkbox:

  1. Click on the Settings tab at the top of your WP GDPR Compliance plugin settings.
  2. Select your Privacy Policy web page from the drop-down box.
  3. Enter the Link text (the text you want to use for the link to your privacy policy).
  4. Click the Save Changes button to save your settings.
Privacy Policy in GDPR checkbox on WordPress blog comments forms

Privacy Policy in GDPR checkbox on WordPress blog comments forms

 

  1. Then go back to the Integration tab at the top of your WP GDPR Compliance plugin settings
  2. Use the code %privacy_policy% in your Checkbox text to link to your Privacy Policy page.
  3. Click the Save Changes button to save your settings.
Linking to your Privacy Policy in your GDPR checkbox on WordPress blog comments forms

Linking to your Privacy Policy in your GDPR checkbox on WordPress blog comments forms

Akismet Privacy Policy Notice

If you are using the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin on your website: starting with version 4.0.4 of the plugin (released on May 26, 2018), you now have the option to display a privacy notice that links to the privacy policy of Automattic (the developers of the Akismet plugin).  

Akismet privacy notice in WordPress blog comments form

Akismet privacy notice in WordPress blog comments form

 

 

If you want to include the Akismet privacy notice in your blog comments form:

  1. Go to Jetpack > Akisment Anti-Spam in your WordPress dashboard.
  2. In the Privacy section, enable the Privacy notice.
  3. Click the Save Changes button to save your settings.
Akismet privacy notice in WordPress blog comments form

Display the Akismet privacy notice in WordPress blog comments form

There are other plugins and methods available for adding privacy policy notices and consent checkboxes to your blog comments forms. But I found these three options to be the easiest. For more information about privacy policies, cookies consent, and data consent, you can read the first article in this blog series here: Online Entrepreneurs and GDPR: How to Get This Stuff Done!

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How to Add Privacy Policy Notices and Consent Checkboxes in your WordPress Comments Forms

There are some new features that have been released in the past few days in order to help website owners with modifying their WordPress blog comments forms as they deal with privacy policies, data consent (GDPR) and cookies. Here's how to get them setup in your WordPress blog comments forms.

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