July 15, 2016

On cookie consent

In case you didn't know what a "cookie consent" is, behold - according to EU legislation, web sites must ensure the user accepts their usage of cookies.

And I'm sick and tired of its effects.

It is an outstanding example of what happens when people that don't have the faintest come to control technology, in this case the Internet. For each web site to prompt the user about cookies is a terrible idea.
1. The users don't understand it. They don't know what cookies are or how they work, to them it is meaningless noise. It is not a consent, it is just another "some technical message, just click OK" moment. Also, the word "cookie" itself adds a little touch of insanity.

2. The users don't take it seriously. Even when the warning is straightforward (we need cookies to do something you may not like) it is a matter of a single click to close the annoying window.

3. It does not improve privacy. At all. From privacy standpoint, cookies are not the villains but the most innocent messengers that are being shot.

4. It makes the Internet more stressful. As if we had not enough banners, one-time offers, subscription popups, landing pages, paywalls and so on, now we have these noisy popups.

5. Technically, cookie consent is a catch-22 situation - to know whether to accept a cookie from a site you need to own a cookie from it. Therefore if you refuse, the site will ask again. Moreover, even if you accept, each browser on each device manages its own cookies, and only a limited number of them. So the questions will continue ad nauseam.