MY NAME IS
Hello David. What's your name again?
Imagine having to reintroduce yourself to your friends every time you met them. Your name. Your age. Where you're from. It would take forever, wouldn't it? You only wanted a cup of tea and a catch up.So the gist of the advertisement is that, without cookies, websites have no memories. Google also seeks add weight to its efforts by teaming up with the Citizens Advice Bureau.
This is why websites, including Google, use tiny crumbs of stored information (called cookies) to remember your previous visits. That way you don't have to repeat yourself every time you go back.
But it's good to know that if you don't want sites to remember your details, you can clear your cookies in your browser settings.
To find out more about how websites get to know you better, pick up a booklet from your local Citizens Advice Bureau or go to google.co.uk/goodtoknow
The IPKat asks readers whether this advertisement is actually an accurate description of cookies and their benefits to online users. Although the metaphor of cookies and crumbs is visually appealing, are web cookies really just 'tiny crumbs of stored information' and by implication of no real significance? To internet businesses, such as Google, which derive substantial income from online advertising, they are certainly not insignificant crumbs. To online users, having important and sometimes private information about them stored and used by third parties for financial gain is surely not insignificant either.
Further, the advertisement puts the onus on online users to opt out of using cookies/having the cup of tea and a catch up with friends. In doing so, Google's advertisement does not mention that the EU Cookie Directive (Directive 2009/136) or its implementation in the UK by Regulation 6 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (PECR) which provides that a website operator requires informed consent from the user before activating cookies. As readers will recall, this amendment came into force on 26 May 2011, but the Information Commissioner's Office stated that website operators have up to one year to ‘get their house in order’. Given that the house needs to be in order by May 2012, is it wise to be advertising a different message in December 2011?
For future reference, this Kat would like it known that any future badge for her should read 'Hello My Name is Fabulous' ...