Knowledge Base

What does the service scanner find (and what not)?

Real Cookie Banner offers you a service scanner that automatically finds used services on your website. With it, we take a lot of work off your shoulders when setting up your cookie banner. In the following, we will explain how the service scanner works, what the service scanner will find for you and what it will not find. We will also explain the difference between a service scanner and a cookie scanner.

How does Real Cookie Banner scan your website?

Real Cookie Banner can scan your website, if you have agreed to the privacy policy and activated a (free) license. The scanner looks for the sitemap of your website. Typically, the sitemap is a sitemap.xml or sitemaps.xml file in the root directory of your website. In the sitemap, WordPress or your SEO plugin lists all subpages of your website that should be found by website visitors and search engines.

The scanner crawls every page listed in the sitemap. We use a variety of rules to check whether, for example, iframes, script or link tags, but also inline @font-face embeddings are used in the HTML markup and whether these transmit data from or to third-party servers on the end device of your website visitors. We also scan all the plugins you have installed in your WordPress. For certain systems, such as Cloudflare, that are not detected in either the HTML markup or the plugins, we have additional scanning mechanisms.

We compare the found elements with a large set of rules to determine from them which services you use on your website. If we have a template for the service you are using, we offer it to you directly. Otherwise, we list you the findings so that you can create a service and/or content blocker yourself.

This means we don’t scan cookies on your website. We have explained in detail in the article Why are cookies not found automatically (Cookie Scanner)? why we and other consent management solutions cannot find all cookies. Rather, we take the work off your shoulders to find services that, for example, were once included and have been forgotten, that are included by WordPress themes and plugins without your knowledge, or that you do not yet block correctly before consent.

What does the service scanner find?

As explained in the previous section, the service scanner has several mechanisms with which it crawls your website. Thus, the scanner finds the following on your website:

  • External services that load files from 3rd-party-servers onto/on your website visitor’s client (with and without template)
  • WordPress plugins with templates that require consent
  • Explicitly supported special-services detected e.g. by their HTTP headers (e.g. Cloudflare)

What does the service scanner not find?

Unlike manufacturers of other cookie banners, we do not offer you a cookie scanner (but a service scanner) and do not promise to find everything. This is technically as well as due to the requirements of the legislator hardly or not possible.

That’s why there are cases when our service scanner can’t detect all used services. The scanner does not find the following:

  • Cookies set/read from unknown WordPress plugins (without template)
  • Services embedded after the page load via JavaScript (e.g. a WordPress plugin loads via AJAX a list of YouTube videos that are embedded in a light box)
  • Complete coverage of your individual use case (check all cookies, purpose descriptions, etc. from the service templates)

The results of the scanner in Real Cookie Banner will thus show you most of the services you use on your website. This will take a lot of the work away from you to set up your Cookie Banner correctly. However, you should go through the steps explained in the article How do I find all services (cookies) on my website?. This way you will make sure to get consent for those services that the scanner cannot find automatically.

I can’t manage to set up my cookie banner by myself. What do I do now?

Setting up a cookie banner correctly (in the EU) is complex. The requirements of the law are high and you may be overwhelmed. The service scanner helps you to set up your cookie banner as fast and easy as possible, but even with this you still have to do things yourself. You should always check your website manually to make sure that you have added everything correctly to your cookie banner.

If you can’t do that, don’t worry. One of our cookie experts will be happy to help you! Our cookie experts have already set up a large number of cookie banners and will be able to set up the cookie banner on your website without any trouble.

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