What are cookies?
Most of us think of cookies as delicious treats. However, on the Internet, cookies are best described as small pieces of code that are sent from a website and stored on your device by your browser. The purpose of cookies is to track a particular user as they perform a particular activity. For example, cookies may be used to determine any of the following (and more):
- Whether a user is logged into their account on the website;
- Whether a user clicked or saw an advertisement;
- The language preferences of the user;
- How a user ended up on a website or what pages they visited;
- Whether the user saved any items in their shopping cart;
- Whether a user has taken any malicious actions in an attempt to hack the website;
- What videos a user has watched on the website.
While many people believe that cookies are inherently used for advertising and remarketing, as you can see from the above, there are many reasons as to why cookies may be used, which is why they are so frequently installed on websites.
- The classifications of cookies that a website uses (e.g. essential, functional, and marketing);
- The exact cookies that a website uses, including the provider of the cookie, whether it is a first party or a third party cookie, the purpose of the cookie and how long the cookie will be stored on a user’s device;
- How an individual can exercise their choices regarding cookies and how they can control their cookie choices;
- Who the individual should contact if they have any questions about your usage of cookies.
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
- United Kingdom Data Protection Act (UK DPA);
- ePrivacy Directive;
- Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA); or
- California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA).