Is the Cookie Crumbling?

September 1, 2013

By Eric Vaughn-Flam Esq.

Eric Vaughn-Flam Esq., the General Counsel for the IAA, shares the legal perspectives and opinions for today's ever changing global advertising landscape.

For some time now, the "cookie" — a small line of text with an identification tag that is integrated into a browser — has been the manner in which advertisers track people's Internet browsing activity for marketing purposes. There are signs, however, that this digital code technology
may be phased out. This is mostly due to the fact that users can reject
or extinguish cookies buy changing their browser settings. Also mobile phones, now utilizing an increasing share of Web, don't use cookies. Cookies have also become generally unpopular as a tool to invade privacy.

Advertisers are turning to a more covert technology to track consumers known as "fingerprinting" which can discern identifying features of a Property and Advertising computer - its operating system, installed software, to its plugins, its graphics card, or even innocuous data like time zone and screen size settings. The individual combination of a particular computer become a digital fingerprint which remains long after cookies are deleted. Changes to your software and settings actually makes you more identifiable.

(Please see our "Also See" section to the right for the full PDF of this article.)


"Is the Cookie Crumbling?" Eric Vaughn-Flam Esq., General Counsel, The Internationalist. The Internationalist. Number 65, 2013.