They are mainly two types of cookies which are; session cookies and permanent cookies. Session cookies also known as ‘temporary cookies’, help websites recognize users and the information provided when they navigate through a website. Session cookies only retain information about a user’s activities for as long as they are on the website. Once the web browser is closed, the cookies are deleted. These are commonly used on shopping websites or e-commerce websites. Permanent cookies also known as ‘persistent cookies’, remain in operation even after the web browser has closed. For example, they can remember login details and passwords so web users don’t need to re-enter them every time they use a site. The law states that permanent cookies must be deleted after 12 months. Other cookies include third party cookies, flash cookies and zombie cookies.
The basics of cookies revolve on three overriding aspects; informing the user that the cookies are there, telling them why and what they are being used for and most importantly getting the users consent to store the cookie on their device. Consent must be freely given, specific and informed. It must involve some form of unambiguous positive action, for example by ticking a box or clicking a link. The user must fully understand that they are giving consent hence consent cannot be given where only part of the privacy information is given or is difficult to understand. To ensure that consent is freely given, users should be able to disable cookies.
In this era of technological advancement protection of data is something that can no longer be ignored hence we must endeavor to stay informed. Cookies are an important aspect to the operation of the internet and data management.