18 June 2019, Charlie A Raya
You are anonymous
This is a cookie-free website
Now, that most websites sport some cookie preferences banner, I thought it was time to introduce a little badge to tell you that this website happily operates without cookies. Furthermore, I collect no personal data, which means you are anonymous on this website. Well, there are one and two half exceptions.
Maybe you’ll say: ‘I knew it!’ But, wait till you know the whole story.
First half-exception: If you’re logged into Facebook or Google or most other such services, then these services will know which websites you visit. So, I still don’t know who you are. But they know what you have been up to.
Second half-exception: This website is hosted by Strato, a German hosting service. They collect IPs and save them for up to seven days as a safety measure against hackers. I don’t see this data, and it’s a fair argument.
Full exception: Any unauthorised person or bot who tries to log in to the back end of this page or who attempts to access a file that doesn’t exist thereby triggering a 404 error, will be recorded in a logfile, and mostly likely blacklisted.
How does this work? I have installed a little plugin which only picks up IPs from people / bots who try to gain access where they have no business. So long, as you keep to the official files, your personal IP will not show up.
There is, of course, the rare instance that a link is broken and you trigger a 404 error without any ill intent. I can most likely identify this as a mere mistake. But even in that case I wouldn’t make any use of your IP. The worst that can happen is that you are blacklisted.
I am sure that the law makers have no intention of protecting those annoying people / bots who seem to have too little imagination to use their art for something useful, and whose sole purpose seems to be to get on other people’s nerves.
Maybe you wonder whether or not I use a Statistics program. Yes, I do. Two, in fact. I am a bit curious as to how many people visit this page. However, in this program all IPs are anonymized, and there is comparatively little I can see. Let me give you an example: I can see the country and town of your origin but I can’t see which pages you looked at, unless you were the only person on the website. But how often does that happen?
Who needs cookies?
I think, people ask that question too rarely.
- Any online shop with a shopping basket needs cookies to save your purchases, same goes e.g. for flights.
- Any website which makes money by displaying adverts needs cookies to tailor their adverts to what they think you want. These cookies can also be used to track you and make sure that you are followed by exactly what you want throughout you internet session and across platforms. These cookies keep unless you empty your browser on a frequent basis, e.g. whenever you close the browser.
No one else truly needs cookies. There are CMS’ who work with cookies, but the fact that other CMS’ can do without them, tells you all you need to know.
All in all, it is fair to say that a lot more websites could work cookie-free if they were indeed interested in protecting your personal data. In that respect the GDPR leaves too many loopholes. What’s the sense of demanding data protection when companies can get away by explaining why they absolutely have to know all about you.
I know it’s not a very exciting subject but if we want change the way we do business, then we better take a closer look at all relevant issues – boring or not.
#fridaysforfuture Strikes and demonstrations for a future on our planet: 20th – 27th September 2019 >>> https://www.fridaysforfuture.org/ Also see speech by Greta Thunberg at the 2019 UN climate action summit in New York.
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