Tracking Cookies – A Privacy Issue

Do you know that many websites use tracking cookies?

Do you even know what they are?

Should we be concerned?

Well it’s obvious that the European Union in its wisdom thinks that tracking cookies are a problem.

As it happens I do too.

I’m a bit of a privacy fanatic.

I also realise that with so many people wanting ‘free’ these days many companies are trying hard to make money through advertising revenues.

Still, I think there’s some reason to be concerned.

The first concern is about information.

It’s clear that many websites are not informing surfers about their policies or which tracking cookies are on their site.

And then, are any explanations clear and is it possible to opt out?

Ironically the very sites reporting that the top 50 U.K. websites had an average of 14 tracking cookies had many tracking cookies on their own sites.

Now I have never knowingly had any tracking cookies on my site but I thought I should check it out.

I installed the “Do Not Track Plus” plugin in my Firefox browser.

To my surprise I found that I had tracking cookies on my site.

The problem was my Social Plug in – AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget.

Like many webmasters I hope you will share my site with your millions of friends on Facebook or Google + as well as the other social sites.

In my fantasy world this might put me into the top 50.

What I hadn’t looked at carefully were the terms and conditions of this plugin which clearly stated its policy on tracking cookies.

They seemed harmless enough but I would still prefer a site free of tracking cookies.

I decided to change my plugin.

The plugin I chose was Social Media Widget by Brian Freytag.

The result now is no tracking cookies.

Here’s a screenshot from Do Not Track Plus.

 Do not track plus screenshot shows no tracking cookies at johnrochaphoto

If I have time I’ll try to share Social sites without a plugin

I still hope you’ll share my site with all your friends.

I’ll try to keep my site free of tracking cookies.

But, please notice this point from my TOS.

If you go from this site to other sites, they may have different terms and conditions.

My own opinion is that too much information is being gathered and we need as webusers and webmasters to be vigilant.

My picture of the week is the Karlskirche in Vienna.

You can find my picture of the Karlskirche here.

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Stock photography by John Rocha at Alamy

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