Why every website wants you to accept its cookies

I’m probably in the minority on this, but I’ve never ever built one of those “This site uses cookies, here’s some kind of explanation of why, and please click this OK button to accept that” bars that feels like they are on half of the internet.

Emily Stewart:

Most of us just tediously click “yes” and move on. If you reject the cookie tracking, sometimes, the website won’t work. But most of the time, you can just keep browsing. They’re not too different from the annoying pop-up ads we all ignore when we’re online.

I’m extra-ignorant in that don’t even really get why they exist, despite being a professional web site builder.

Emily does a good job of rounding up the answer. It’s probably about what you think it is: a better safe than sorry play. Better annoy some users than get sued out of existence.

It’s also interesting that it’s not just one particular regulation that has people doing this. GDPR is a big one (despite being fairly light on mentions of cookies at all), but it’s really a couple of different regulations, including likely-upcoming ones, that have people implementing these obnoxious pop-ups.

I’m probably the weirdo that would rather get sued than show a fricking cookie banner.

Speaking of cookies though, and things that I’m ignorant about, I asked this question not long ago:

My brain didn’t have an answer at the time. If I was pressed on it, I’d probably answer that it’s just snake oil, and that those checkboxes don’t actually do anything.

From the thread, the answer seems to be that most sites use cookies to store your logged-in user session. Cookies have expiration dates. The “Remember me?” option makes the cookie have a longer expiration date than if you didn’t check it.

The whole thread there is pretty fun. Lots of useful things and lots more jokes. I’m on board with the idea that anytime you check that box, some server, somewhere, plays this.

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