Cookies Be

A tremendous amount of work has been done using cookies on various websites. For the most part, it was meaningless, nonsensical babbling without any rational basis.

What are cookies?

Cookies are bits of information that your browser stores on your computer at the request of a web server and sends back to the web server that created the cookie every time you visit that web server. It is created when the web server asks your browser to store it.

Cookies can only contain information that you have already provided to the website in privacy. If you give them information, how can it be an invasion of privacy?

Cookies cannot, and do not, look at things on your computer, or browse through your history, or anything like that. There are other ways that a web server can know information about you, but those works with or without cookies – they’re unrelated (see below).

Cookies are only sent back to the web server that created them (unless your browser is seriously flawed). Cookies cannot leak information from a site you trust to a site you don’t trust.

What’s the point of this?

Cookies are used to track “sessions”. Cookies are also used as a convenience for you, so you don’t have to enter information again and again when you visit a website. Cookies can also be used for both purposes.

Sessions refer to multiple requests all coming from the same person. If a website you don’t trust uses cookies for this purpose, they are not spying on you. If you haven’t given them any information, they have no idea who you are. They just know that (for example) random ID #56843065829 visited their website 17 times on Monday, 3 times on Wednesday, and 86 times today. They can track which links random ID #56843065829 clicked on when they did visit, which can help the website redesign its layout to be more user-friendly or know where to best place advertisements.

Most people find this almost as creepy as they thought. There are those who feel even this amount of information is too much, but I must wonder if these people realize that when they are shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, there may be people, analyzing where they go and where they stop as well. Networks, in fact, are more anonymous, for they cannot see what you look like, or if you are a man or a woman, young or old.

Cookies can also store information that you send them. For example, if you shop at a store, they can store some sort of identifier in a cookie

to make it easier for you to “log in” to that website on future visits. In this case, they can personalize sessions for you. They can also sell this information – but that has nothing to do with cookies: you gave them personal information, they can sell it regardless of whether they use cookies. If you don’t want them to sell your personal information, I suggest only doing business with reputable websites, and don’t forget to read their privacy statements. Also, make sure they operate on secure servers.

I know people who deliberately delete their cookies at the end of each session, or set their browsers to reject all cookies. There are even commercial products that delete cookies (these products exist to take advantage of people’s ignorance in my humble opinion).

If you don’t give a website personal information, then cookies can’t be used to find out anything about you personally. If you do give a website personal information, the primary data they will sell is the complete information (for example, what you bought from them, and when). Cookies just add marginal information, less important than what the web pages you viewed told them.

Cookies in Ad Banners

The most sinister part of all this cookie business is cookies in advertisement banners, presented by companies like You

might be on a webpage at, but there could be an ad banner at the top that is served from This allows to set cookies and also lets know that you visited (the ad will be served with a URL that embeds this information, for example, “”, though it will be encoded so you can’t read it).

This means that can track your movements across any website they advertise on. However, they cannot correlate their data to your identity unless they have already obtained your identity through another means. Unfortunately, they can likely obtain it from any company they advertise for, which means that if you give your information to, you could be giving it to, which can in turn sell it to other advertisers.

This just makes it even more important to not do business with companies without reading their privacy statements and ensuring that they are reputable businesses.

Other Ways of Obtaining Information

While cookies cannot capture full information about you, there are other methods that can be used. Once information is displayed, it can be stored in cookies, or on web servers, or whatever.

You can also check Privacy Policy of the website MoneyAisle.

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