Cookie Acceptance Notices

We’ve all seen them – repeatedly – those cookie acceptance notices that we’re encourage to just click “I Accept” on.

The above is taken from a fresh landing on the Evening Standard website, but it could have been a website anywhere…

But what if you don’t just click “I accept”? What if you follow the link for “More information”, just as you’d click thru on a “cute kitten picture” link?

You get to see some description of what data is collected, and how it is used, sometimes with the defaults set to “disallow”, or more likely, with the defaults all set to “On”. And notice how there’s no option to easily turn them all off with a single click – though you can make sure they are are enabled with just one click.

Here’s the rest of what you’re agreeing to in this case:

One of the handy things about GDPR is that you can also request information about who your data may be passed on to. To reduce the cost of responding to such requests, there may be a link to the vendors who may be supplied with data collected on the site. Here’s the first part of the list from the Evening Standard site:

And the second part:

And the third part:

And the fourth part:

And the fifth part:

Even with settings disabled, you may find third party providers (advertisers, third party stats/analytics trackers) loading code into your browser and updating cookies. Here’s a list of such parties taken from the Evening Standard cookie policy webpage:

evening-standard - cookie accept9

One way to stop this is to take control via your browser settings and directly prevent third party cookies from being set on any webpage:

If you disable cookies, however, a question arises as to how a website can remember that… If it really doesn’t know who you are, you would expect to be presented with the cookie acceptance notice each time you visit  the site, though perhaps not each page you visit during a particular session (the webpage may well track sessions through identifiers baked into the web page request headers and only prompt the display of the cookie acceptance banner at the start of each session).

Other Cookie Notices

IBM Bluemix – provides a slider to set the cookie level, along with a list of the services that are enabled / disabled at that cookie level:


Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

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