back to article Many sites cookie-track users regardless of opt-outs

More than 10 per cent of companies that promise not to track internet users' online activity for behavioural advertising purposes still do so, according to new research. Publishers and advertising networks use cookies to track user behaviour on websites in order to target adverts to individuals based on that behaviour. A …


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  1. Dean_

    You'll want to see this

  2. Chronos

    Thank you, Captain Obvious...

    Ad bureaux are unscrupulous, news at 11.

    The advice remains the same: Trust nobody, treat all cookies as session cookies, clear your cache, don't use Flash [1] and disable DOM storage. Anything less is just asking for BOHICA.

    [1] or redirect Flash's local storage location to /dev/null.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The ICO..


  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Andy Fletcher


      Thanks for the tip there. Oddly I checked and got "No interest categories are associated with your ads preferences so far."

      Which given I spend 10 hours a day online and work in e-commerce and stay signed into my Google account seems a bit strange. I must be REALLY boring if even Google's cookie can't be bothered to read what I read eh?

    2. David 30

      Twice removed

      > *but not remove any*

      Eh? There's a girt great 'Remove' link next to each category when I look at it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google opt-out

    It's all very good to report this, but the opt-out pages aren't exactly out there for all to see unless you actively look for them.

    So for Google its:

    It's actually an interesting page where Google tells you which categories they think you fit it. I was surprised (maybe a bit scared even) to see them.

    Another point is that while Google allows this manual opt-out, they still do no respect the "Do Not Track" browser option introduced in Firefox, IE9, Safari and Opera.

    1. Sooty


      when i follow that link, all i get is

      Cookies are disabled

      Your browser's cookies seem to be disabled. Ads Preferences will not work until you enable cookies in your browser. How do I enable cookies?

      yes, you need to have a cookie*, to get to the setting that allows you to disable cookies!!

      *note, I don't actually have cookies disabled, but i don't allow google to run any javascript :)

  6. Dale 3

    Not surprising

    This is not at all surprising. Do we put signs outside our houses saying, "please don't steal my stuff", or do we use locks and keys? If you don't want websites tracking you, you don't do it by asking them not to track you, you do it by preventing them from tracking you.

  7. maclovinz



  8. Someone Else Silver badge

    And the winner is...

    ...well, we don't know, do we? Except for Vibrant Media, where is the list of 8 that ignore you, or the 33 the cut the corners of integrity? No list or linky in the article..:-(

    C'mon Reg, you **can** do better than this.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    It's all in the Privacy Statement ...

    As you would see if you ***even bothered*** to enlarge the microdots:


    The Privacy Policy clearly states that chocolate chip cookies taste good[pg. 47] and can be bought in many Countries[pg. 13].

    So there.

  10. Richard Pennington 1

    Sounds like there is a gap in the market...

    ... for a browser extension which visualises cookies and gives the option to edit them .... so as to replace advertisers' data with random bits, or to falsify identification data ... or (you get my drift)

    1. Spanners Silver badge

      @Richard Pennington 1

      To be able to falsify the contents of a cookie, you would need to know what every character means. Otherwise you could be putting invalid data in there. Th trouble with that is that they might conclude it was corrupt and just make a new one without you even knowing.

      Or do the content of cookies follow a universal truecture?

  11. Steven Roper

    Quite often

    the only content of a cookie is a session id or other identifying marker, which is simply used to tag a record in a database. My own sites use a randomly-generated 20-character alphanumeric string as a session id. Changing any character of this string simply means that your new session id is not found in my database in which case my site simply generates you a new one (and kicks you off any sensitive page that requires you to be logged in to see it.) It also logs the false ID string as a hack attempt; do it too many times and my sites will IP-block you for 24 hours.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    The Thorn which..

    noone wants to grasp. ;(


    "Text" is a higher language (code) decipherable by Humans & our programmed devices!

    Text may contain CODE TABLES



    or even raw unassembled code to be re-compiled by any associated Service device programmed to do so.

    That is is how "computers" work.

    This is also how Advertisers & Websites use this part of the "DATA" stream, either for good or bad purposes.

    Machines are neither good or bad, they are indifferent.

    It is people that program them either good or bad, this is where we "should" be looking!

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