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No more cookies

Most people are aware of the “cookie” concept and the related notification that pops up on our screen to let us know that our searches are being tracked. Specifically, “Cookies temporarily store small amounts of information about what a user is doing on a website and are an important part of the modern internet”. The cookies track users' searches in order to personalize their ads. Google is now ending their use, just like other major web browsers (Safari, Mozilla Firefox).

The “cookies” have been widely criticized, since they gather private information to create the user’ profile and personalize ads. When Google first announced that it would eliminate the use of cookies in the beginning of 2020, its shares dropped (companies gain money by the personalization of ads, since buyers see a wider range of products due to cookies). However, the Google shares seem to be rising since then.

Google made it clear that they will not replace the cookies. Their statement reads “Today, we're making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build [alternative] identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products,”. Even so, Google also stated that "We don't believe these solutions will meet rising consumer expectations for privacy, nor will they stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions, and therefore aren't a sustainable long-term investment,". Also, Google hasn’t stated that it will terminate personalized ads for its own products. This means that even though cookies will not be supported, consumers will still be deprived of their privacy. For instance, there is “fingerprinting” that identifies the type of device used, the browser version, language, IP address and fonts installed. The user's name might not be known, but one can still be tracked. Google will continue to sell ads and companies will just have to find a different way to gain from them.

In conclusion, cookies might disappear but we, users, will still not get our privacy. Our actions on the internet are all documented and saved so that companies can promote and sell their products. The personalized ads aid the growth of consumerism and honestly sometimes help us find the product we are looking for. However, is it ethical and tolerable to have all of our online actions documented?


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