Man, I hate nosy browsers. I hate them worse than you do, I promise. My idea of cookies is still those served with milk.
Still, there’s that whole “balance” thing —
- should I strip all good functionality out of my site and make it marginally functional but butt-ugly (I’m looking at you, Craigslist)
- or make it a more helpful site at the expense of some cookie-collecting?
I’m opting for the second. Here’s why.
What I Know About You
The only information my site collects about you are things that every single other web server in the world collects — your IP address, what web page your browser requested, and some basic info about your computer (your operating system, screen resolution, etc.) All web sites collect this info. All of them. In fact, there’s no way to not collect this info. It’s just how the web was built.
What I Do Not Know About You
Unless you manually fill in a form giving me that info, I have no idea who you are. I don’t know your age, your phone number, your email address, your street address, or why your mom calls you “Bosso.” Nothing you do on my site identifies you without you knowing about it. I mean, I suppose you could be filling in a Contact Me form in your sleep, but if that’s the case, you probably have bigger problems to deal with.
My Site Uses Dumb Cookies
I use a bunch of plug-ins and other tools to make your visit easier to navigate and to help me make my site better. These services use “cookies” to keep track of your preferences — like whether you’ve asked the top bar to stay closed, and so on. Like oatmeal cookies, these cookies are dumb. They don’t know who you are either . Only that your computer has requested a preference.
Don’t Blame Me
Also, my site uses some pretty standard third-party services (like Wufoo to make forms, Google to keep track of analytics, AdRoll to present you with reminders about my site in banner ads when you’re elsewhere on the web, and so on). All these people have their own privacy policies, most likely written by people far more intelligent than I — you know, lawyers and stuff. I don’t have any control of what their sites or cookies do, but I wouldn’t use them if I thought they were evil. You should probably read their own policies if you’re freaked out about this stuff.