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Cookie: a short line of text that a web site puts on your computer’s hard drive when you access the web site
Most of us have learned the lesson: remove and delete your cookies as often as you can. You figure that out as soon as you learn to turn off the pop-up windows. But does this really work? Behavioral targeting, the practice of tracking online habits to profile customers, becomes more and more sophisticated with each shift in technology. Now, flash cookies make it even more difficult to determine if you are still being tracked even when you tried to eliminate your trail (believe me, you are.)
In a short video titled “How Advertisers use Internet Cookies to Track You“, Christina Tsuei explains the nuances of the cookie. She interviews Lou Montulli, the college dropout who wrote one of the first internet browsers, Lynx, and was one of the first engineers at Netscape. He discusses the development of the cookie as a memory tool necessary to streamline the e-commerce process. Lou had early concerns about the consumer’s privacy based on the ease of third-party targeting.
How do trackers workaround the deleted cookies?
Ultimately, the chose the right word when they named the “cookie.” Have you ever tried to hide and eat cookies in the bed? Unless you take off the linen and wash it, inevitably there will be crumbs. No matter how much you sweep.
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