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How Does a Cookie Work - Assignment Example

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This assignment "How Does a Cookie Work" deals with the IT issues. As the author puts it, most of the online sites use cookies to track the online behavior of a surfer. Cookies are primarily text files which are very small and which are stored in the computer of the user when visiting a website…
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Download file to see previous pages Sometimes, the websites also update the cookies in order to customize the site according to the preference of the users. For example, a user visiting eBay might be shown with a range of fitness equipment if he has searched for such equipment in the past. The sight might also welcome the user by name while recommending fitness equipment. Another example of a website which tracks through cookies is DoubleClick. This site develops a repertory of the user by tracking online behavior and purchases.
However, the user’s names and addresses cannot be directly obtained from cookies. These can be obtained only if the user has registered himself on the website by giving personal information. Data from cookies and other analysis tools can be used by the online sites to track a visitor. Moreover, this data can be combined with other data collection methods such as offline surveys to build a user’s profile. The cookie text files are embedded on the hard disk of the visitor. When the user returns, tracking ID of the visitor is requested from the cookie and the data stored on the websites’ servers is accessed. In this way, the customized data can be shown to the visitor.
All these technology advancements come with some moral implications. The cookies, in particular, are used by the websites to formulate electronic dossier of the visitors with complete information regarding their purchasing habits and online surfing behavior. This is called profiling. For example, DoubleClick offers its partners detailed information or profile of its visitors so that other websites can target customers with appropriate ad contents. Similarly, credit card purchases by the customers can make it possible for the companies to gain access to private or personal information of the visitors raising privacy concerns. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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