Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Third-Party Tracking Cookies and Data Privacy

Mitchell, Ian D. Third-Party Tracking Cookies and Data Privacy. April 25, 2012

From the abstract: "Public discourse these days is replete with concerns about data security and information privacy. One of the major themes of these conversations is the concept of waiver and what rights to privacy are actually waived when engaging with parties over the internet. A significant mode of this theme involves the use of “cookies” which are surreptitiously installed on users’ computer hard drives during common internet transactions. While cookie-use plays a substantial role in making web-based transactions more efficient, even for the user, the concern about cookies focuses on the fact that third parties to the transaction are often able to use the information collected from cookies and aggregate it. Aggregated data can then be used to construct a highly informative profile of the individual user or consumer which would be highly difficult, if not impossible, to get from any other source. In spite of the fact that most internet users are aware of the technological times in which we live, many users would not believe that such data collection is reasonable given the context in which the collection takes place." Read more