Yes, Both AdRotate Pro and AdRotate Free are compatible with GDPR.
Just make sure you inform your audience what you’re doing and what’s going to happen when they access your website.
What GDPR is all about
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. Which is forced onto the world by the lovely governance of the European Union.
These regulations have been years in the making and started years ago with the dreaded and Cookie Regulations. Now they’ve taken it a few steps further to include any data that may be personally identifiable in a similar scheme.
In short, GDPR is yet another useless attempt to control data and seemingly protect the user.
How does AdRotate fit into this
People visiting your website will leave a trace, that trace is at the very least an IP address. But often involves a user account or some kind of record. Often cookies are thrown at visitors. There is session data. Servers collect logs that contain all kinds of information about visitors.
Here are 3 things AdRotate does with user data:
1. IP Addresses
AdRotate (Pro) stores IP addresses for up to 24 hours to track impressions and clicks. If the plugin is working properly this data is removed after 24 hours. These records are not easily accessible by end-users. Website administrators also have no direct access to this data. The cleanup is governed by wp-cron.
If you don’t want AdRotate (Pro) to store IP addresses at all. Turn off stats or use a 3rd party tracker. You can use Google Analytics or Piwik Analytics.
If you wish to not share the IP address to a 3rd party you should turn off Statistics.
2. Geo Targeting
If you use Geo Targeting each visitor will get a cookie that lasts up to a week, depending on your settings.
This cookie stores the approximate location of the visitor. This data is not stored on the server but the visitors IP address is sent to a Geo Lookup service.
Currently AdRotate Pro supports the following Geo Targeting services; AdRotate Geo (my own lookup service), MaxMind and ipstack.
If you use Cloudflare you can get the visitors country via that as well.
All services use the visitors IP Address to get the location information.
Do these services store the IP address? AdRotate Geo does NOT store the IP address. As for the others, I do not know.
Check their Terms of Service. Email their support staff to find out.
If you do not want to share the IP address to a 3rd party you should turn off Geo Targeting.
As mentioned before, AdRotate (Pro) stores the visitors IP Address for a limited time. Other than that, statistics are anonymous and just dumb numbers.
So there you have it, both AdRotate Pro and AdRotate Free are compatible with GDPR.
Why GDPR is pointless
While the intentions of GDPR may be a good idea. It won’t work as long as free service businesses such as Facebook, Google and the like make it a business to sell your data. You are their product. Your data is their product.
Earlier this week I was presented with a load of convoluted questions and settings updates on Facebook, trying to convince me that personal data gathering is a good thing. They showcased it under the guise of security and defrauding accounts. It helps against spam and fake news and more such nonsense. And to make it more appealing to me, some other benefits like auto tagging and checking in if I let them store my data and track my movements.
The little survey they forced me to click through implied consent and I ended up clicking “yes” and “agree” a bunch of times because I don’t want my account impeded or limited if I don’t agree. No matter my decision, they’ll get what they want anyway.
Google has sent out similar notifications a few weeks ago, simply telling me what is going to happen, offering a security audit and a easy way to some new settings to review, but really I had no say in the matter at all.
Thus, the 2 larger companies in the world that these regulations are meant for are already covering themselves with recorded evidence of consent, rendering the regulations mostly useless. I imagine most people won’t even read or care about these settings and (unknowingly) give consent.
Most people are stupid that way.