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Should Cookies Be Banned

Essay by   •  November 8, 2010  •  Essay  •  785 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,096 Views

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Over the years internet privacy has been major concern worldwide. Even with such advanced technology we still can't perfect the intrusion technology. But first before we try to ban cookies we should realize what we tend to loose. All cookies are not intrusive but a navigation tool as well.

Internet cookies are extremely valuable to consumers and website operators alike, despite concerns that they threaten web users' personal privacy. Without cookies, the Internet would be slower, the electronic marketplace, a difficult place to navigate and the entire online experience frustrating. The Internet Alliance urges lawmakers not to regulate cookies but to work with industry to address the underlying issues: privacy and security. Together we must alert consumers on how to use technology and common sense to protect their own personal privacy online.

First, it is important to understand what cookies are and how they benefit the web browser. A cookie is a small piece of information that is sent to your browser when you access a particular site. When a cookie arrives, your browser saves this information to your hard drive; when you return to that site, some of the stored information is sent back to the web server. But a cookie is not an executable program; it cannot scan your hard drive or be used to find out information you have not given the web site. Without cookies, a consumer in an online bookstore, for example, could not put items in a shopping basket. Each item would have to be selected and purchased separately. The common practice of refining queries through a search engine would not be possible because without a cookie, there would be no record of the previous query.

Cookies also allow web servers to collect and add specific data about a consumer and their browsing habits. Some use that data to send marketing information to consumers. It is this practice that raises privacy concerns. The Internet Alliance believes that consumers should be able to set the level of privacy they want when surfing the Web. If they want to be anonymous, they should have that right. Only technology can make that possible. Only an educated consumer, armed with technology can establish real online privacy protection.

So what should consumers do? First, Web servers can and do track who visits their site. They collect information. So browsing habits determine the cookie you receive, who has access to your information and what advertising you get. The easiest thing a consumer can do is to modify their behavior. If you do not visit a fishing site it is unlikely you will receive fishing advertising, for example. But the great appeal of the Internet is the ability to surf freely. It is possible to do it privately, even anonymously. There are several tools available today to help consumers.

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