Should cookies be banned Essay

This essay has a total of 787 words and 4 pages.

should cookies be banned

Over the years internet privacy has been major concern worldwide. Even with such advanced
technology we still can't perfect the intrusion technology. But first before we try to ban
cookies we should realize what we tend to loose. All cookies are not intrusive but a
navigation tool as well.

Internet cookies are extremely valuable to consumers and website operators alike, despite
concerns that they threaten web users' personal privacy. Without cookies, the Internet
would be slower, the electronic marketplace, a difficult place to navigate and the entire
online experience frustrating. The Internet Alliance urges lawmakers not to regulate
cookies but to work with industry to address the underlying issues: privacy and security.
Together we must alert consumers on how to use technology and common sense to protect
their own personal privacy online.

First, it is important to understand what cookies are and how they benefit the web
browser. A cookie is a small piece of information that is sent to your browser when you
access a particular site. When a cookie arrives, your browser saves this information to
your hard drive; when you return to that site, some of the stored information is sent back
to the web server. But a cookie is not an executable program; it cannot scan your hard
drive or be used to find out information you have not given the web site. Without cookies,
a consumer in an online bookstore, for example, could not put items in a shopping basket.
Each item would have to be selected and purchased separately. The common practice of
refining queries through a search engine would not be possible because without a cookie,
there would be no record of the previous query.

Cookies also allow web servers to collect and add specific data about a consumer and their
browsing habits. Some use that data to send marketing information to consumers. It is this
practice that raises privacy concerns. The Internet Alliance believes that consumers
should be able to set the level of privacy they want when surfing the Web. If they want to
be anonymous, they should have that right. Only technology can make that possible. Only an
educated consumer, armed with technology can establish real online privacy protection.

So what should consumers do? First, Web servers can and do track who visits their site.
They collect information. So browsing habits determine the cookie you receive, who has
access to your information and what advertising you get. The easiest thing a consumer can
do is to modify their behavior. If you do not visit a fishing site it is unlikely you will
receive fishing advertising, for example. But the great appeal of the Internet is the
ability to surf freely. It is possible to do it privately, even anonymously. There are
several tools available today to help consumers.

Internet Explorer and Netscape allow you to accept all, reject all or be warned before
accepting cookies. In Explorer this is available on the Tools/Internet/Options menu and in
Netscape at the Edit/Preferences/Advanced menu. Sometimes a site warns you that it may not
function properly without cookies. This means, as stated in the example above, that an
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