HTTP cookie

(redirected from Internet cookies)

HTTP cookie

(World-Wide Web)
A system invented by Netscape to allow a web server to send a web browser a packet of information that will be sent back by the browser each time it accesses the same server. Cookies can contain any arbitrary information the server chooses to put in them and are used to maintain state between HTTP transactions, which are otherwise stateless. Typically this is used to authenticate or identify a registered user of a website without requiring them to sign in again every time they access it. Other uses are, e.g. maintaining a "shopping basket" of goods you have selected to purchase during a session at a site, site personalisation (presenting different pages to different users) or tracking which pages a user has visited on a site, e.g. for marketing purposes.

The browser limits the size of each cookie and the number each server can store. This prevents a malicious site consuming lots of disk space. The only information that cookies can return to the server is what that same server previously sent out. The main privacy concern is that, by default, you do not know when a site has sent or received a cookie so you are not necessarily aware that it has identified you as a returning user, though most reputable sites make this obvious by displaying your user name on the page.

After using a shared login, e.g. in an Internet cafe, you should remove all cookies to prevent the browser identifying the next user as you if they happen to visit the same sites.

Cookie Central.
References in periodicals archive ?
The legislation will: | Allow people to ask for their personal data held by companies to be erased; | Enable parents and guardians to give consent for their child's data to be used; | Expand the definition of personal data to include IP addresses, internet cookies and DNA; | Make it easier and free for individuals to require an organisation reveal the personal data it holds; The legislation will bring the EU's General Data Protection Regulation into domestic law and will be introduced in Parliament next month.
An examination of user perception and misconception of internet cookies in CHI 2006 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
As mobile usage takes over the internet cookies become irrelevant and presence signals allow for the creation of geo-behavior profiles that both global brands and local advertisers value in order to drive people through the purchase funnel.
Audience extension advertising uses internet cookies via a web script on the CACCN website.
Internet cookies risk being inaccurate and can quickly go out-of-date, he adds, and IP addresses' principal use is geotargeting.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner should work with Internet companies and ISPs to develop a "do not track" element to ensure that Australians can opt out of tracking their online behavior through Internet cookies.
Given the popularity of texting, the SMaSh application is designed to go beyond just voting or keeping in touch with friends by creating the equivalent of Internet cookies for text messaging, in terms of interactivity and personalization.
lt;p>Not even 10 days into Obama's presidency, some privacy advocates are expressing concern about a White House decision permitting the use of persistent Internet cookies in YouTube video files embedded on the redesigned WhiteHouse.
To execute these crimes, hackers and con artists use tools such as fraudulent e-mails, network sniffers, Internet cookies, scripting languages, software vulnerabilities, and wireless networks.
The subpoenas also sought detailed information on hundreds of thousands of private citizens who had visited the New Times' Web site since 2004, including internet cookies and browsing information on every individual who looked at any story, review, listing, or advertisement," the lawsuit states.
In the 114 years since the essay was published, privacy has become a remarkably wiggly and fluid notion, encompassing the right to an abortion or contraception, the right to be free of telemarketers and Internet cookies, and the right to keep government goons out of your home.
The European Union has ordered eight countries to put privacy legislation into place that governs unsolicited marketing e-mail messages and Internet cookies.

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