Cookies are little files that websites send to your device in order to track you and remember specific details about you, such as your login credentials or the items in your shopping cart on an e-commerce site. These well-intentioned pop-up cookie notices that appear everywhere on the internet are meant to encourage openness about your online privacy.
However, in the end, they're not really accomplishing anything—the majority of us merely click "yes" and go on. It occasionally happens that the website won't function if you reject cookie tracking. However, you can usually just continue browsing. They resemble the intrusive pop-up advertisements that we all tend to ignore when browsing the internet.
The aforementioned cookie disclosures are a sign of a persistent and essential deficiency on the internet concerning online privacy and the ownership and resale of user data, which in turn allows for the tracking of users both online and offline.
Two distinct European regulations—the ePrivacy Directive, which was first passed in 2002 and then updated in 2009, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a comprehensive data privacy law passed in the European Union in May 2018—were largely responsible for the spread of these alerts. They have the best of intentions, as do the cookie alerts that followed. However, they have no effect.
According to the CEO of the private data sharing website digi.me, Shane Green, they're currently largely worthless, Recode reported. "With pop-ups everywhere, we're back in 1999 again, and it's extremely annoying."