Why are websites asking about cookies?

According to the California Attorney General’s Office, California residents have the right to know what personal information businesses collect about you, to have that information deleted, and to insist that your personal information not be sold. Further, the Attorney General said: “You also have the right to be informed, before or when companies collect your personal information, what types of personal information they collect and what they can do. with this information “.

Consumers have been slow to exercise these rights. A survey last year by the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that only 1-5% of internet users tell sites not to sell their data.

The low rate may reflect the desire of internet users not to disrupt the targeted advertising system that generates revenue for the sites and supports many free online services. But it may also reflect confusion among consumers about their options, given the many different approaches sites have taken to educating consumers about cookies and data tracking.

The first time you visit a website, you will often see a banner or other pop-up notification alerting you to the site’s use of cookies. Other sites, including this one, may also post persistent links to their data policies somewhere on their home pages.

The most basic pop-up banner will say something like, “This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies. Then there will be links to the site’s privacy policy and a button to click to signal your consent.

Even if you don’t agree, simply closing the banner is generally considered consent. So if you are concerned about how your personal information will be used, follow the link to the company’s privacy policy. Keep in mind, however, that you are not allowed to tell a site to stop. collection your data – you can only ask it not to to sell this information. And if it doesn’t meet the legal definition of a data seller, it may not offer you any control over cookies.

Pop-up notifications from some sites provide more precise control over the cookies installed on your device. For example, the Yubico.com pop-up says, “By browsing this site without restricting the use of cookies, you consent to our and third-party use of cookies, as set out in our cookie notice. But in addition to an “Accept All” button, it provides a “Preferences” link that takes you to a page where you disable all or some of the site’s non-essential cookies.

Sites that give you the ability to manage preferences usually allow you to grant or deny permission for different types of cookies – for example, “functional” cookies, “performance” cookies, “analytical” cookies. , “marketing” cookies or “targeting” cookies. The types that raise the most immediate privacy concerns are those involved in marketing or targeting, as these can be third-party cookies that track your behavior on the internet.

For sites that sell non-anonymized personal information to third parties, the pop-up notification should include a button or link that says “Do not sell my information”. California law requires data sellers to provide a “clear and visible link” on their home pages to a web page that will allow you to block the sale of your information. For example, the Tapatalk.com pop-up explains that California law allows consumers to opt out of selling data, then offers two options: “Save and Exit” – presumably allowing the company to continue selling your data. – or “Do not sell My information.

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