I rather eat cookies
So what are cookies?
A cookie is a small text file which is stored during your visit to a website. Whenever a person visits the same website again, the website keeps track of what the user is doing on the internet.
There are three types of cookies:
- Functional cookies: without these cookies the website isn’t able to function, as an example the things you put in your shopping bag on a shopping site
- Analytical cookies: these cookies keep track of how often you visit a site or read an article
- Tracking cookies: these cookies follow your browsing behaviour, so if you search for shoes on one website, you probably get a commercial about shoes on another website
What are the rules for cookies today?
For functional cookies no permission from the user is required. Concerning analytical and tracking cookies a permission from a user is required via an accept button on the particular website which is using cookies.
What is going to change?
The ministry of economic affairs wants to put an end to the mandatory asking for analytical cookies. These cookies don’t have major consequences for a person’s privacy. Only when it’s really necessary to protect the privacy of the user permission will be asked. The mandatory asking for tracking cookies will remain.
What’s in this for us users?
This change in the law can be positive for us users, since you don’t get the annoying pop-ups of cookies all the time. A lot of us just click on accept for cookies without even reading what the cookies do or what kind of cookies you are coping with. But this case also raises some important questions, since there is a very thin line between users’ benefit and their privacy. In my opinion this line is subjective, as persons around the world will have differing opinions about this. For instance users in countries with political suppression will probably opt to avoid cookies as much as possible.
Another topic is whether people will still be informed about the use of analytical questions. Informing users will be necessary to allow people to choose not to visit a particular website when it makes use of analytical cookies.
So for me it’s a difficult case since I do mind my own and other people’s privacy but on the other hand I almost always just accept the cookies without even reading. In the short run I think we will benefit from the improved usability of websites, but for me the effects in the long run are yet to be determined. Therefore I am interested in your opinion about this case. Do you just click on accept? Do you mind about your privacy regarding cookies on the internet? And most important.. what would you vote for on Tuesday if you were in the government?
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