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Cartoon: Cookies and the GDPR

Cartoon Cookies and the GDPR

This cartoon depicts how, after the GDPR, countless websites have cookie notices and require agreeing to accept cookies.  I find these cookie notices to be form over substance.  These notices are virtually meaningless and don’t help consumers. They are a nuisance.  They give privacy a bad name because people start to think that privacy is just about a bunch of silly notices and needless extra clicks.

Because cookies are so ubiquitous and commonly-known, being notified about them isn’t very informative. At this point, a notice that says “this site uses cookies” is akin to a notice that says “this computer uses electricity.” What matters is how personal information is being used, not whether there are cookies. Additionally, there are no meaningful choices for consumers. Often, there’s no choice but to accept the cookies. Even when there is a choice, consumers aren’t informed enough about the benefits and costs to make a meaningful decision.

Formalistic “protections” of privacy such as these cookie notices are a big fail.  These cookie notices create the illusion of doing something about privacy, but nothing really meaningful is happening here.

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