Cookie use (and abuse) across the web

mbk34

TS Member
Like most folks, I visit a lot of sites on the net but I've become increasingly conscious of what cookies are being stored on my computer. It might make an interesting report to a lot of readers to compare how user cookies are handled across various web sites. You could score various web sites on things such as the following:
  • Can marketing cookies be switched off?
  • How easy is it for a user to manage their use on a given site?
  • How many 3rd parties do your details get passed to?
  • Can all cookies be switched off?
  • Are tracking cookies used?
  • Will the company remove your details if asked to (this should be a matter of law according to GDPR rules)?
To make it more relevant to Techspot you could compare yourselves to other tech news sites and perhaps a few widely used general interest web sites. I haven't seen any reports on this type of thing so it might make interesting reading.

Mike

PS I do understand that sites such as this require money to run but some users are becoming quite wary of their use (and abuse). And thanks for running a really interesting web site!
 

jobeard

TS Ambassador
Sometimes we already have what we want, but didn't know were it was located.
On Firefox, under Options we have
upload_2019-8-18_7-39-18.jpeg
and
upload_2019-8-18_7-39-44.jpeg
Notice: it can Clear Data just by closing all windows :)
 
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mbk34

TS Member
Unfortunately I think most users are on Chrome these days :) The idea was more for an article showing how different web sites allow users to control the use of cookies on their computers. Hopefully tech news sites would be at the forefront of user control. I think it would make fairly interesting reading.
 

jobeard

TS Ambassador
@mbk34 The real control is in the browsers as that's where they are first seen. Website control of cookies is meager at best.

btw: there's a large population of Firefox users and I demo'd its controls as I am one such user. May I suggest that you share the controls from Chrome??
 

mbk34

TS Member
>>> The real control is in the browsers as that's where they are first seen. Website control of cookies is meager at best.

The web site is what issues the cookies! The idea of the report is to show what web sites value your right to privacy and which sites simply sell your details to the highest bidder. Obviously current GDPR laws now make many web sites use of cookies illegal. I'm definitely not asking how do I remove cookies from my own personal browser. I'm not asking which browser is the best for doing this but obviously this could be an interesting addition to a report ... assuming it's unbiased :)


>>> there's a large population of Firefox users and I demo'd its controls as I am one such user. May I suggest that you share the controls from Chrome??

I used to use Firefox but gave up on for a reason I've since forgotten. I believe just over 10% of users still use Firefox. I believe the controls on Chrome are under : settings > advanced > site settings > cookie.

These controls are fairly well hidden. It would also be good if the browser could tell you how many cookies have been added by a site and perhaps give a warning if a tracking cookie has been used. It might also be nice to have an option of removing these cookies without having to know the name of the cookie involved.
 

jobeard

TS Ambassador
The web site is what issues the cookies!
yes ... I write websites
The idea of the report is to show what web sites value your right to privacy and which sites simply sell your details to the highest bidder. Obviously current GDPR laws now make many web sites use of cookies illegal.
Not entirely true. You must be informed of the usage AND consent or deny that usage.
"sites value your right to privacy" --- read the TOS (Terms of Service) and the Privacy statement.

I'm definitely not asking how do I remove cookies from my own personal browser. I'm not asking which browser is the best for doing this but obviously this could be an interesting addition to a report ... assuming it's unbiased :)

>>> there's a large population of Firefox users and I demo'd its controls as I am one such user. May I suggest that you share the controls from Chrome??

I used to use Firefox but gave up on for a reason I've since forgotten. I believe just over 10% of users still use Firefox. I believe the controls on Chrome are under : settings > advanced > site settings > cookie.

These controls are fairly well hidden.
The only place cookies are stored is in your browser and each browser has its own storage, so if you access WebSiteA with three different browsers, then there are THREE copies of each cookie from that site.
It would also be good if the browser could tell you how many cookies have been added by a site and perhaps give a warning if a tracking cookie has been used.
That's not possible, as the tracking occurs when engaging some other website(s). Your control is to Allow vs Deny setting tracking cookies. Some browsers give you direct access to their cookies and you can review and delete as you see fit.

It might also be nice to have an option of removing these cookies without having to know the name of the cookie involved.
Already demonstrated ... delete cookies when closing the browser.
 

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