Saturday, 21 November 2009

We Can ALWAYS See You

Why does this story surface every year? "Delete Your Browser Cookies!  Evvviiillll!!  Evil!"

What a load.  While you're at it, go to your doctor and ask them for all your medical records and insist they wipe every trace of you off their computers, then get frustrated that they actually have to have you name on invoices and go to the Taxation department and ask them to cancel your tax file number and remove all your details except - oh yeah, the ones at the Register of Births, Deaths & Marriages...

When did anyone get the idea that they were anonymous and mysterious?  What exactly is it that you're doing online that all traces have to be meticulously removed, shredded, and the space filled with binary snow?   Our entire lives are filled with physical cookies that record where you last used your credit card, when the last time really was that you used the bus to go to work instead of the car, and a lot of other detail that it only takes a bit of determined searching to find out.  Just like, you know, browser cookies.  

Also, some cookies in your life as pointed out above (such as medical records) are damn useful if you happen to be struck down by a serious illness and don't have the time or capacity anymore to rush home and get all your medical records from the shoebox under your bed...

But for me, the best part of the story was that it has tracking code embedded in the URL I was given, to let Wired know I got there via Feedburner:

http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Delete_Browser_Cookies?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+wired/index+(Wired:+Index+3+(Top+Stories+2))  


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