The Hands in the Cookie Jar

by David Sleight

7 Reader Comments

Back to the Column
  1. Well, if nothing else, this article reminded me to turn off 3rd party cookies and set Do Not Track. Why not ask users about these settings when the browser is first installed?  That way the decision is put in the hands of the users, preventing all this back-and-forth about default settings.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  2. Why aren’t you using an ad blocker? Anyone smart enough to know what a third-party cookie is surely wouldn’t ever click on an and should know enough about browser security to know how common zero-day exploits are. (And with this talk about ads, hopefully you know enough about how the ad industry works to realize that ad syndication is so widespread there’s no way any ad company can keep malicious ads off their networks.)
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  3. “The opt out functionality of this page requires that your browser allow third party cookies.” It’s a trap!
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  4. Love the buzzy-ness of this sentence: “users who want a richly customized online experience gain those benefits.” Oh the joy and benefits of having my web decisions identify me as a target audience.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  5. “Instead of stubbornly rejecting anything less than a status quo of opaque self-regulation, ...” Just about everything bothersome in this era is holding tight to this.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  6. The only problem with reigning in advertising on the web, is that the “free” web is powered by this advertising.  It may be annoying, in the same way that I can’t skip commercials when watching live TV, but it is also necessary for most websites to exist. Without this advertising revenue many of the most popular sites would not survive. Disclosure: I work for a company that is a major player in this kind of tracking.  It is a big sell to our customers to be able to do this.  We don’t do the advertising per se, but we do use cookie tracking to provide detailed analytics to our customers.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  7. @Bill: Nothing in the piece is intended to suggest advertising on the web is unjustified or shouldn’t exist. What *is* stated is that consumers should have clear, readily-available options for opting out of new, more invasive tracking practices.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.