What are Cookies?
According to Ron Stefanski of OneHourProfessor.Com, a cookie is any data that is created, gathered, and stored as a text file whenever a website is loaded. The data is often gathered from a website’s visitors. The visitor’s browser retains this data for future visits or while accessing the rest of the website’s pages. Thus, cookies can be likened to a computer’s short-term memory.
Website owners gather this data for various reasons including marketing purposes. This could be used to identify what advertisements should be displayed while surfing based on the visitor’s information. Cookies help various websites determine a visitor’s purchasing or surfing behavior through artificial intelligence.
Are cookies personal data/information?
More often than not, cookies comprise the personal data or information of a visitor to a website. This includes geographical and demographical information such as age, gender, location, and bank details, among others.
Do email addresses classify as personal data?
Yes, email addresses are classified as personal data for it is contact information particular to an individual. This is much like the postal address or mobile number of a visitor to a website.
Do all cookies require consent?
Not all cookies require consent, as per CookieYes. The cookie expert organization explains that cookies necessary for the functionality and operation of a website, called “essential cookies” or “necessary cookies” are exempt from cookie consent. This type of cookie is used by the website to enable the proper functioning of features such as being able to log in to its members’ section.
How is consent for cookies set up?
What are the different laws on privacy (CCPA, GDPR)?
With the nature and setup of cookies now clear, let’s go to the different laws that regulate their use. There are various laws set up by various countries, states, and organizations that protect the personal information of website visitors. In general, cookie laws require website owners to specify the type, purpose, and usage of the data they gather from users or visitors.
The two most common laws are the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented in the United Kingdom. Let me just give an overview of each of these two laws.
The California Privacy Law (CCPA)
The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 is more commonly called the California Privacy Law. California Attorney General Ron Bonta explains that the law empowers consumers by giving them more control over businesses that collect their personal information. The landmark law highlights four important regulations on a consumer’s right to privacy online. That is the right to know, delete, opt-out, and non-discrimination when personal information is collected.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
On the other hand, the General Data Protection Regulation is broad protection for individuals in terms of their rights and control over personal information. It is a broad law since it is not only limited to cookies but all similar technologies across various platforms.
No, it isn’t if you do not collect personal information from your website’s users and visitors. But there may be consequences of not having one due to existing privacy laws that include sanctions for non-compliance. It may also make your company or organization vulnerable to lawsuits from website users and visitors if you do collect their personal information.
Is a cookie safe?
By their nature, cookies are generally safe. Kaspersky underscores that cookies are not like viruses or malware that can harm your computer or gadgets. Cookies are unchanging and are simply stored by the website often for user navigation and functionality. However, cookies can also be used by hackers to track a person’s online behavior and use it for personal gain.
Where are cookies stored?
Cookies are often stored in two locations. One is in a website visitor’s computer or gadget. The other is in the website’s hosting or server. For Google Chrome users, cookies can be located in the cookie folder. This is specifically found at %LocalAppData%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\cookies. For Microsoft Edge Chromium this is %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Edge\User Data\Default\cookies.
If you have more questions, feel free to send me a message any time!
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My name is Ralph de Groot. I'm the founder and author at My Codeless Website. Wake me up for a great web design. I love writing about website examples, too!