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Subject: Re: UKNM: Cookies
From: Craig Pickup
Date: Fri, 04 Dec 1998 16:27:54 +0000 (GMT)

Sajid Mohammed wrote:

> "We use cookies to remember who you are. If you are paranoid about
> cookies, then you probably don't understand them. They aren't mind
> control or voodoo so relax and accept them without fealing like Big
> Brother is watching every time you see a cookie... without them, the
> internet woudl have a lot more problems than it already does. If you
> don't believe me, tough. I'm firm on this one: Cookies aren't perfect,
> but they aren't evil, and I'll continue to use them." Amen.

Using cookies to "remember who you are" is one thing but they are also used to track
behaviour between sites and that is quite another. If I used a credit card to make a
purchase then that individual merchant has a record of it and of me - I see no real
problem with that. If though I then went into another store and while making a
purchase that merchant was able to download from my credit card details of all my
previous purchases without me being aware about it then that does concern me. Cookies
are similar, there are many legitimate uses that currently make e-commerce etc much
more simplistic to implement but there are also many uses to which they can be put
that many people are uncomfortable with.

> To answer point two, there are many many legitimate reasons for using
> cookie technology for e-commerce applications - it's not unreasonable
> to assume anymore that the majority of the target audience have
> cookie-capable browsers.

It is though reasonable to not assume the a large number have cookies enabled. Nor is
it as in some e-commerce systems good practise not to mention that cookies will need
to be enabled to use the service at the begining of the buying cycle rather than allow
the punter to go through the majority of the process only to be told he can not
complete the last leg but not told why.

> More to the point, would I want to be
> targeting a demographic of those who aren't running cookie-capable
> browsers? For example, how the hell am I going to be able to run a
> differential marketing programme if I can't track my user base
> properly?!

There are more ways to do this than using cookies.

> As for those who turn off their cookies, see point one and then go and
> see Mr. Hayward for a talk about the birds and the bees.

I'll pass on that one. :-)

Craig Pickup
Digitrade Ltd

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  Re: UKNM: Cookies, Sajid Mohammed

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