I rather eat cookies


Acookie law? Why would they make a law about cookies? When I first heard about a cookie law some years ago I laughed and said what are they putting into this law? The maximum amount of sugar? Unfortunately the law wasn’t about eatable cookies, but about cookies on the internet. I heard of their existence once but I didn’t actually know I came into contact with these cookies every day, since no website informed me about them. From that moment onwards websites were obliged to inform you about the use of 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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4 responses to “I rather eat cookies”

  1. nutsaboutpeanuts says :

    Hi there. I must admit that I don’t mind cookies that much. The functional ones I like (of course). To the analytical cookies i also don’t really have much objection. If it makes their website better it is in my interest as a visitor that they use them. It gets a bit weirder with the tracking cookies, although even those can be convenient every once in a while.
    I like the goverments’ plan to reduce the display of these cookies. If I only get notification of the tracking ones, I’m more likely to look into what they actually track before I accept. Now I just accept everything because I don’t recognize the bad ones between the rest of the cookies.

  2. 343336dk says :

    Since the mandatory question of accepting cookies was introduced I’ve been annoyed by it with every site I visit. When the question pops up I immediatly click on accept so I can continue.
    With the use of cookies I have never experienced it as a violation of my privacy. Even tracking cookies A lot of these files are also deleted when I’m cleaning up my PC.If I could vote on the issue I would abolish any form of question right away!

  3. 329238eh says :

    Nice article! I think the question about cookies is an important one these days. Since the question to accept (or not) cookies are almost on every site I visit, I think the function on the question is becoming obsolete. I click on yes most of the time, because I want a good website. But after that, the website is showing me advertisement of dressed I looked at the shop the day before. This makes me feel like my privacy is invaded.
    Because I use Google chrome almost always when using the internet, I click on deleting history and cookies a lot so this ‘problem’ becomes less for me.

  4. lisavanwoensel says :

    An update of what the government voted: the cookie law has been relaxed by de Tweede Kamer, only de Eerste Kamer has to approve it now! So probably less annoying pop-ups for us and we can just clean our history every once in a while! 🙂

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