You, at least those in Europe, probably all know about this last European law that has been passed regarding cookies and privacy. Now, whenever you go into a website operating in the EU, you get a message requiring you to accept cookies before you can go in to read the content. The argument for this seems very reasonable at first sight, sorry, at first thought. You are asked for consent to something you may not like.
The trouble here is...
They are not actually getting your consent. They just seem to get your consent. It's only in appearance that you give your consent. These are just so very similar to distant contracts termed non-negotiable contracts. You want to get something, you press okay and move on. Simple as that.
I'm sure there are many people out there who doesn't even understand what cookies are. It took me a while to get it, small text files that websites put on our devices to access and store information about our use of the internet and our preferences. Some sites like Facebook can track us even if we sign out. There is even a cookiepedia if anyone would be interested to read more.
Once I got an understanding of this “sneaky” business, I started avoiding such sites. I actually found a much bolder solution and clicked the “Don't allow/Disable cookies” on the preferences on my computer. Some sites like email, sites to purchase tickets or other sites which require a password did not work in this case but I allowed cookies in the rare case I wanted to use them, then disabled them again. This way, I got rid of the unwanted flashing advertisements as well. I was happy for a while. But the sites I used “wised-up” if that's the term to use; I could no longer use the website if I did not allow cookies. So long for my tactic...
What about now?
Now I just accept all cookies, but routinely, 2-4 times a day (depending on the windows I have opened) I clear all data and cookies. At least it's something!
This cookie law is like Non-Negotiable Contracts with Rights Reserved to Change Rules. Companies make as if they got your permission, so that they can pretend they did, that you in fact gave them permission. The law does not serve a real purpose, it is there just to make as if there is something there to really protect your privacy.
As it is something that we can reasonably be expected to do, we may be held responsible for our action or inaction. If there is a simple code for types of cookies websites use, I/We really do have an option and may decide, with full awareness, what to approve and what not. We know what we want to read or have access to by going into that webpage, we may choose if it is worth the privacy invasion or not.
Only then, only if there is a fully-informed real choice option for us, we can agree there is something there to protect our privacy. If we don't make use of it, we are responsible for the consequences and legislators cannot say they didn't have our best interests at heart.* However, the way things are right now, is just fluff and extra-bothering, a hindrance to our daily lives for no real value.
PS: I came across a site which actually summed up my proposal in a much better form.
There are boxes for cookies:
You may check those you want or only the necessary ones. I don't know who would use more than the necessary, but hey, people have all sorts of needs and they might need others according to their usage; they might want the features and even the marketing, they may want to be a part of the statistics wanting to contribute to a higher good or feel proud, or whatever... That's none of my business. What I care is not putting idiotic rules or pretending to do something when actually not doing it.
So this website's cookie agreement is just perfect. Or is it?
No, it's not. Because it has one single deep flaw! Guess what that is?!
I fell into their trap the first time, and noticed it only later when studying the way it is posted. I had seen that only the “Necessary” box was ticked, so with quietude, clicked the green button and went on reading. As I said, only later did I realize that the green button, which is the automatic option for most people, says “Approve All and Submit.” !
We have learnt behaviours, we have formed a mental-construct of how things work, and websites, companies, big businesses are always on the lookout for ways to trap us, to make use of our vulnerabilities, gullibilities. It was just automatic for me. It will be automatic for most people who want to reach the information they are seeking as fast as possible. Now that I know, I won't be doing that again and will dutifully click the “Approve Checked Only” button. They can fool us once, they cannot fool us twice. Only if the laws did not allow them to fool us even once in the first place!
I'm an anarchist but as long as there are laws, I wish they served a purpose at least!
* Perhaps I'm being unfair to the legislators, perhaps they do have our best interests at heart even the way things are now. But then, I'd have to conclude that they are not so smart to think of the actual process and real benefits. I don't know which one is worse!