Like it or Not, You’re Getting a Cookie

I went to a website, a blog referred by DuckDuckGo in pursuit of some work thing.  The cookie banner required by the Eurocracy popped up — with a twist.

This website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies are used to collect information about how you interact with our website and allow us to remember you. We use this information in order to improve and customize your browsing experience and for analytics and metrics about our visitors both on this website and other media. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our Privacy Policy.

I say, that’s a pret-ty innovative way to turn lemons into lemonades.  it doesn’t matter what this site says that it will do or not do with that information — what matters is whether the cookie is accepted.  And in this case, your choices amount to [Accept, and let this site use your data in any way we see fit] and [Decline, and we will still track you but only at an arm’s reach].
What part of no tracking did these guys misunderstand?  Why none of it, of course.  Pretty sneaky way to offer two yes answers disguised as a yes and a no.
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8 thoughts on “Like it or Not, You’re Getting a Cookie”

  1. You got to love the euphemism cookie. It sounds better than tracker. “One cookie won’t hurt.”

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  2. 10 Cents:
    You got to love the euphemism cookie. It sounds better than tracker. “One cookie won’t hurt.”

    There’s a bit of a difference.  Cookies are used to store state between pages, which are otherwise stateless.

    So, you could have a cookie which identifies you and can be used for tracking, such as:

    wordpress_logged_in_e592beb146bf0078f0f=Damocles%7C1560299818%7CuDVdRqhiKjZmLfEViobvh2Yxof%7C8f9a532871541d5eb3647332965ec5ea99fad5ed5bae1798

    Or have a cookie whose value is the same for everybody which cannot track you but serves some other purpose (for example, to indicate you’ve seen the cookie message and don’t need to see it again, or to give a warning that a site can’t be logged into if it refuses cookies):

    wordpress_test_cookie=WP+Cookie+check

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  3. Damocles:

    10 Cents:
    You got to love the euphemism cookie. It sounds better than tracker. “One cookie won’t hurt.”

    There’s a bit of a difference.  Cookies are used to store state between pages, which are otherwise stateless.

    So, you could have a cookie which identifies you and can be used for tracking, such as:

    wordpress_logged_in_e592beb146bf0078f0f=Damocles%7C1560299818%7CuDVdRqhiKjZmLfEViobvh2Yxof%7C8f9a532871541d5eb3647332965ec5ea99fad5ed5bae1798

    Or have a cookie whose value is the same for everybody which cannot track you but serves some other purpose (for example, to indicate you’ve seen the cookie message and don’t need to see it again, or to give a warning that a site can’t be logged into if it refuses cookies):

    wordpress_test_cookie=WP+Cookie+check

    What percentage of “cookies” are tracking in your opinion?

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  4. 10 Cents:
    You got to love the euphemism cookie. It sounds better than tracker. “One cookie won’t hurt.”

    Well, this takes me back.  Back as far as Netscape 0.x something on a Mac OS 7-ish machine.  I recall being presented with the concept of the “cookie” and clicking on something in the app to uncover what that means.  The definition, according to the app?  “Munchies”.  Whatever the heck that meant.

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  5. 10 Cents:

    Damocles:

    10 Cents:
    You got to love the euphemism cookie. It sounds better than tracker. “One cookie won’t hurt.”

    There’s a bit of a difference.  Cookies are used to store state between pages, which are otherwise stateless.

    So, you could have a cookie which identifies you and can be used for tracking, such as:

    wordpress_logged_in_e592beb146bf0078f0f=Damocles%7C1560299818%7CuDVdRqhiKjZmLfEViobvh2Yxof%7C8f9a532871541d5eb3647332965ec5ea99fad5ed5bae1798

    Or have a cookie whose value is the same for everybody which cannot track you but serves some other purpose (for example, to indicate you’ve seen the cookie message and don’t need to see it again, or to give a warning that a site can’t be logged into if it refuses cookies):

    wordpress_test_cookie=WP+Cookie+check

    What percentage of “cookies” are tracking in your opinion?

    Yes.

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  6. Cyrano:

    10 Cents:

    Damocles:

    10 Cents:
    You got to love the euphemism cookie. It sounds better than tracker. “One cookie won’t hurt.”

    There’s a bit of a difference.  Cookies are used to store state between pages, which are otherwise stateless.

    So, you could have a cookie which identifies you and can be used for tracking, such as:

    wordpress_logged_in_e592beb146bf0078f0f=Damocles%7C1560299818%7CuDVdRqhiKjZmLfEViobvh2Yxof%7C8f9a532871541d5eb3647332965ec5ea99fad5ed5bae1798

    Or have a cookie whose value is the same for everybody which cannot track you but serves some other purpose (for example, to indicate you’ve seen the cookie message and don’t need to see it again, or to give a warning that a site can’t be logged into if it refuses cookies):

    wordpress_test_cookie=WP+Cookie+check

    What percentage of “cookies” are tracking in your opinion?

    Yes.

    What a crummy answer!

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  7. 10 Cents:
    What percentage of “cookies” are tracking in your opinion?

    It’s hard to say.  Most sites set at least a couple for their own use.  Sites which serve ads usually set a cookie per ad company (e.g. facebook, google). Some ad-whores end up setting over 20 tracking cookies by some reports.

    Apple stirred things up by introducing ITP, “Intelligent Tracking Prevention” in which they analyze cookies and expire tracking cookies after 24 hours.  I think Firefox might have done something similar.

    And to make you even more creeped, don’t forget that every search query you’ve ever made has been logged, as has every time and place you’ve connected to the internet. If you recall, Dread Pirate Roberts got busted for the hit man solicitation by screwing up his VPN exactly once.

    (takeaway: don’t plan crimes in the internet.  even better, don’t be a criminal!)

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