Consumer Privacy and Cookies
Under the “Options” or “Preferences “ menus, most current Web browsers can be set to reject cookies or alert surfers when one is being sent, but this may prevent you from accessing some sites at all. In March 1998, the U.S Department of Energy’s Computer Incident Advisory Capability released a study on cookies, in which it stated that, “The vulnerability of systems to damage or snooping using Web browser cookies is essentially nonexistent.” Advertisers love online profiling, it enables them for an opportunity to make people interested in their products or services. Many consumers agree if Web banner ads are a fact of life, then why not make them as relevant to their needs as possible, but the argument of a different perspective is that people should at least know about it. Online profiling companies say that cookies alone do not provide personally identifiable information, such as name and e-mail address, but just because its not tied with you name, its tied with your identity.
What could be more personal than information about our buying habits, our interests, and ourselves? Many consumers like the targeted marketing and special offers that come with online profiling, others find it invasive, even frightening. Either way, we should make the decision of whether to share the data or not.
Computers and Internet