DATA DOCTORS

Why cookie notices are everywhere on the internet

Oct 17, 2020, 5:45 AM
Photo by 
Bongkarn Thanyakij from Pexels...
Photo by Bongkarn Thanyakij from Pexels

Q: Why is every website these days asking me to accept their cookies and how do I know which ones to accept?

A: We’re all seeing these pop-up notifications just about everywhere we go on the internet and you can thank the European Union (EU) for this latest online irritation.

The EU invoked the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) back in 2018, an 88-page document that outlined privacy and security requirements for anyone providing goods and services in the EU.

Since there aren’t physical boundaries on the internet, it forced everyone around the world to comply with these new regulations regardless of where they may be located.

Cookies and Consent

The most visible impact of the GDPR is the pop-up notification asking for consent to place a cookie on your computer.

To review, cookies are small text files that can help websites identify returning users or track them across huge advertising networks.

Those ads that seem to follow you all around the internet for something that you recently searched for are made possible by cookies.

The convenience of not having to log in every time you visit certain websites is also brought to you by cookies.

Cookies can store user behavior information such as how long you were at their site, what you clicked on, items you left in a shopping cart, preferences or settings that you chose and much more.

Cookies themselves are not good or bad, it’s how the website that places them on your computer uses them that concerns the EU.

The intent is to provide users with the details of what the website would do with the information they collected from you, which is why all of the notifications have a ‘learn more’ link.

The reality is that virtually no one can decipher details of these notifications because they are not written to be understood by the average user.

Managing Cookies

Since some cookies are actually desirable, blocking them all would result in a completely different online experience.

Cookies from general websites you visit can generally be rejected while accepting cookies from sites that you use on a regular basis is reasonable.

A button to reject the cookie may not be an option on some websites, so there are a number of ways to manage them.

Ignoring the notice, which is generally at the bottom of the screen will prevent the cookie from being placed on your computer, but that means the notice will be there whenever you go on that site.

Using the private or incognito browsing option – which is available in all browsers – will automatically get rid of any cookies placed on your computer when you close the browser session.

If you want help automatically managing tracking cookies, the Brave browser offers a number of tools.

By default, it automatically blocks third-party cookies, which are most commonly used to track you across the internet, but you get pinpoint control of every website you visit using their “shields” interface.

The well-meaning attempts to regulate personal data often creates unintended consequences and with the EU continuing to press for more control, you can expect other weird things to pop up in the future.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

Data Doctors

Jumper cables are jammed to a car battery. Photo: Christophe Gateau/dpa (Photo by Christophe Gateau...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are tips for buying car battery jumper packs

The starting price of these battery packs is so cost-effective, it’s kind of a no-brainer to have one for each car in your family.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)...
Data Doctors

Here is how long different iPhone support services last

Different versions of iPhone support services can last longer than others, so here's a list of how long repair, iOS and app support lasts.
8 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

What to do with random PayPal security messages

If you are getting ‘security codes’ from a standard 10-digit phone number, it isn’t PayPal at all.
15 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Here are tips for finding recently added contacts in your iPhone

Here are some other ways to navigate finding recently added contacts in your iPhone.
22 days ago
In this photo illustration the logo and search page of the multi-facetted internet giant Google is ...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

How to better examine your Google search sources

Now, more than ever, it’s important to know the source of information you find online and there's a handful of ways to clean up your Google search.
29 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Smartphone cases, other factors could be the reason your phone is overheating

There are a few variables that could be the reason your smartphone is overheating -- here's what you can do to prevent it.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Why cookie notices are everywhere on the internet