What a Computer Cookie Really Is and the Importance of Consent

Since May 25, 2018, you have seen countless pop-ups appearing directly when opening a website. These banners, with three different interaction choices, are mandatory for webmasters following the new European regulation on the protection of personal data. You have the choice to accept, refuse or choose the cookies that are placed on your machine, necessary for the proper functioning of the site or for advertising targeting.

What is a Computer Cookie really?

“Cookies are programs that websites place on your hard drive. They sit on your computer and collect information about you and everything you do on the internet, and whenever the website wants it can download all the information the cookie has collected. »

Wrong, definitions like this are quite common in the press. The problem is that none of this information is correct. Cookies are not programs, and they cannot function as programs. They therefore cannot collect information on their own. They also cannot collect personal information about you from your machine.

Here is a valid definition of a cookie: A cookie is a piece of text that a web server can store on a user’s hard drive. Cookies allow a website to store information on a user’s machine and retrieve it later. The information is stored as “name-value pairs”.

For example, a website can generate a unique ID number for each visitor and store that number on each user’s machine using a cookie file. To accept or refuse the deposit of this file on your machine, banners (CMP) are mandatory (currently in Europe) to comply with the rules put in place by the RGPD (general regulation on data protection) protecting your personal data.

Everything from social media plugins to embedded videos will typically bring dozens of third-party trackers that harvest visitor data. This data can be used for the operation of the site/service but also be sold to other companies, without the knowledge and without the consent of the users themselves.

The importance of a CMP in relation to cookies?

A consent management platform (CMP) is a platform that controls user consent on websites. It manages how the visitor’s personal information is processed. The collection process is done through the cookies we mentioned above. When you visit a website, a banner is displayed, the famous cmp-cookie and asks for your consent to collect and manage your data. The majority of unnecessary data processing must be subject to prior consent. And this consent must be foolproof.

Axeptio Cookie Consent Banner

Managing cookie consent should also be a fair and informed process, in which users have full freedom to make decisions about how their personal data is processed. The information on your cookie banner should be clear to understand before your user decides whether or not to share sensitive information with your website.

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What a Computer Cookie Really Is and the Importance of Consent


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