Lemon Law Lawyer

Your Privacy Rights: How Internet Cookies Work?

By on January 23, 2017
Internet cookies

Back in 1994, computer programmer Lou Montulli thought up how to work over internet communication. He invented the use of the small text files, which are passed by the web server to the user’s web browser.

As a result, Internet cookies have ubiquitously come through the web!
So, what is the cookie? How does it work? What is hazardous about it? And how they can danger your privacy as an internet user? Also what are your rights as a California citizen? What are your “cookie” obligations as an entrepreneur? The article tries its best to address all these aspects in a short and clear manner!

Internet Cookies are awesome! 

Not only the floury ones you are used to dipping in your coffee or tea but the HTTP ones as well.

The inquisitive readers know that “HTTP” means cookies use a plain text format. Thus, they are not able to make copies of themselves, by no means fall into virus category. So they are safe! But what makes them really awesome? They can be extremely useful for website enhancement.

Most importantly, cookies make users’ experience personalized. Have you ever changed the layout or theme of the site, and it “recalled” the “settings” when you revisited it a week later? Have you ever felt so satisfied because you did not have to reenter electronic shopping card information? Or have you felt happy with the fact that you did not have to fill a tedious form from the very beginning because your computer switched off? These are all cookies.

What’s more? If you have a website you will almost always want to use web analytics to promote it. Cookies serve for this purpose utterly. They reveal how many first-time or repeat visitors the web page has received, how much time passes in average between visits and many other aspects of the user’s online performance. Findings give good insight into the strengths and the weaknesses of the site.

Cookies are virus free, functional and informative. And very often they are free. But what is bad about them?

What is suspicious about cookies?

Did it ever happen that you fell in thoughts, doubts and guesses what else, by who else and why else your private information is possessed? You are not the only one! Let’s linger around the subject:

  • WHAT ELSE? Have no cares in this regard. Cookies have no ability to dig or research your information or search your computer, they are exceptionally about your internet performance.
  • WHO ELSE? Still, you would rather have some concerns here. So-called “third party” cookies may be acquired by the website or company you never provide information to. E.g. they may buy it.
  • WHY ELSE? They use cookies not only for the site enhancement but also for ad tracking and marketing. In other words, you may help the marketer to manipulate you more effectively.

If now you get even more suspicious about cookies, it is a good idea to learn more about your rights as a California resident.

Be aware of your privacy rights!

It turns out that L. Montulli invented HTTP cookie in San Jose, California. And interestingly enough the state government of California was the first in the world to enact “Do not track law” in 2013. The law sets requirements for all the websites, and online services like AOL and Yahoo as well, that collect data on California residents. Hence they should openly declare how they respond to the “DO NOT TRACK” SIGNAL sent by the user.

How do you check the company’s conformity with the “do not track” requirement? You should find it in the organization’s PRIVACY POLICY document.

The Attorney General of California recommends that before you fill out an application for credit in a store or bank, or type your credit card number into an online order form, ask to see a copy of the organization’s privacy policy. If you are not happy with the policy’s terms or rejected to be provided with it, you had better stop.

The Attorney General also shares precious instructions on how you should read the privacy policy to get most of it and become a protected internet citizen. Protected, but also not annoyed by marketers as you have the right to opt out getting off marketing lists and limiting the sharing or sale of your personal information.

Be informed and inform by sharing!

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About Armin

I am someone with a lively interest in spreading the word on law-related issues.

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