Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tracking Cookies

Recently when I was browsing the Guardian I got this bar across the top of the page.

This must be from the EU's new cookie directive. From the Register:
The EU has put forward a directive that partly covers the use of cookies (Directive 2009/136/EC [PDF]) and set a timetable for this to be incorporated into the national law of member states by 25 May. The rules emphasise the need for clear consent from a user, underpinned by clear up-front explanations, before cookies are installed on a user's machine.
The link in the bar on the Guardian page took me here. That page is very thorough and further down the page was this section on "How do I turn cookies off?"

In that section was a link to the Network Advertising Initiative.

I went there and clicked on that big red button on the right.

That button took me here.

While I had all either "No Cookie" or null entries a friend had a lot of sites with "Active Cookie: You have not opted out and you have an active cookie from this network."

So you know what I did. Clicked on "Select All" and then "Submit."


Hmmm. Why didn't it take?

I tripped myself up. In Chrome I had third party cookies blocked. It seems that the opt-out cookies are technically third party cookies.

So I went to Chrome's Settings. In Settings I clicked on "Show advanced settings..." Next I went to Privacy / Content Settings.

I unchecked "Block third-party cookies and site data" and clicked "OK" way down at the bottom.

Then I tried the "Select All" and then "Submit."

Much better. A couple of them still didn't take but I made real progress. Then I re-checked "Block third-party cookies and site data" in Chrome's settings.

On this page the NAI says:
The NAI has adopted a policy that all NAI member companies set a minimum lifespan of five years for their opt out cookies.
So I should be done for a while.

For the truly paranoid, go run this test.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tracking cookies are like the salesmen on 3rd world country touristic markets.
If they catch you glancing at their merchandise they will chase you down the street trying to sell you that particular item, telling you "You good price pay! Wife like!"

So, I wrote an article about that :)