Cookie Me

So DoubleClick are going to be more open about Cookies and all that they are tracking. According to DoubleClick’s press release:

“DoubleClick is to be commended for its cooperation in setting an industry standard for promoting consumer privacy in the data collection and tracking taking place across networked websites,” said New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.


The issue of cookies – especially in relation to online advertising – is something that seems to get some people all worried that they are being spied on (like those big satellites can’t see what you’re doing anyway). It seems in the US, people go to court over them. Given that I been working in the online advertising business for nearly seven years (has there been an online ad business that long?) I think I am supposed to have an opinion on this hot potato. Except, I don’t think I do (at least as long as we can use cookies I don’t have an opinion, which I guess means I do have an opinion).

Cookies are not evil and, as companies like DoubleClick must have millions of cookies in their databases I am sure my online activity is not of sufficient interest for anybody to try to find out where I have been. Most people are pretty good and don’t store personally identifiable information and, even if they do, I could just wipe my cookie files and start again and stop being tracked. So, all I really want to say is there is nothing wrong with cookies. Cookies are useful. People who hold data on me should abide by the Data Protection Act which seems sufficient for every other piece of information that is being held about me, so why does everybody so worked up about these little bits of data? Agghh!!

<This unstructured, meaningless rant is now over>