What Role Do Cookies and Privacy Policies Play in Data Breach? (Part-1)

In today’s world, where many technological advancements are occurring, there are certain aspects about which we must be cautious. Hackers aren’t just people who steal your information; they can even keep an eye and ear on you. Many businesses, or should we say applications, are engaged in such nefarious practices.

Your sensitive information can be extracted and used in a variety of ways. It is important for everyone to understand how our personal data can be taken from the internet and how we can protect ourselves from it.

INTRODUCTION

“Our website needs cookies to provide you with the best experience,” we’ve all seen this pop up almost every time we use the browser. We’ll presume you’re okay with receiving all cookies if you continue without adjusting your settings.” Otherwise, we are redirected to the previous page if we do not press proceed. These cookies are designed to store a small amount of data unique to a specific client and website, and they can be accessed by either the web server or the client device. Although the cookies do not contain your password, they do contain a hash that is identical to it. When you visit the website, it is compared to a hash stored on the server, which is essentially the same as your password.

COOKIES

There are two types of cookies-

  1. Session cookies- E-commerce sites use session cookies to keep track of what you put in your shopping cart. Those are just temporary, and they disappear as soon as you close your browser.
  2. Persistent cookies- It allow websites to remember details such as log-in credentials or account information. However, there is a risk that any of those cookies could end up in the wrong hands.

Third-party cookies pose a greater risk. For the most part, they’re generated by sites that aren’t the same as the web pages people are actually browsing, so they’re linked to ads on that website. Even if the user does not visit the connection, if there are about ten ads on the tab, it will generate ten cookies. It also allows users to monitor a person’s browsing history on all of their ad-supported sites around the internet.

In 2013, Edward Snowden reported that The New York Times articles explaining “How the NSA was using Google cookies to pinpoint hacking targets” included cookies as well. Dave Winer, a New York-based American software developer, has also expressed his concerns about how Facebook can monitor anyone’s whereabouts on the internet after logging in without their permission.

Cookies make it possible to:

  • Persistent shopping carts and customer log-in
  • Wish lists
  • Suggestions for Products
  • Custom user interface (for example, “Welcome back, Steve”)
  • Keeping track of the customer’s address and payment details.

This information can’t only be used by advertisers to aim targeted advertising at us; it also poses a danger to us if it’s misused by the government. At the time, our own well-being was being compromised by ardent supporters of the government through data that we might not have discovered in any situation. Surveillance becomes much more dangerous as a result of this.

Stay tuned for Part-2!