Why Tracking Cookies Are Dangerous, Even If You Really Have Nothing To Hide

There are opinions about the doubtfulness of the harm of such cookies if there really is nothing to hide. This position definitely does not hold water.
In our opinion, the main risk of such tracking cookies for users who really have nothing to hide lies in the possibility of individual manipulation of their consciousness.
This can be beneficial both for entire states and individual economic entities.


Democracy and Statehood

The most serious risks, I believe, can be directly or indirectly affecting political views in society and, as a result, influencing democratic processes in the state. This is evidenced by regular reports related to possible state interference in the electoral process of other countries through the placement of political advertising on the Internet.

In addition, by mixing in the “correct” (competently targeted by interests) advertising about events in the world, state, and society, one can systematically bring a person to the desired state. Looked today for a ticket to a concert of your favorite band - tomorrow you can see an advertisement about the support of a particular political force by the group.

Buy an elephant!

Just like in political advertising, your consciousness and perception of things can change in favor of any commercial products.

Interest-based advertising may not always be conscientious or reflect reality. Once you looking for information about GDPR compliance for your business - get an advertisement for services and products with shocking information about gigantic fines. And no one will talk about real, not so awesome, statistics of such sanctions. Nothing personal, just commerce.

People, I can explain everything

And this is an example from personal experience, after which I took the habit of using the browser in incognito mode. A typical case of a man who seemed to have nothing to hide in front of anyone.

As you probably guessed, it’s about ... a gift for your beloved. Be extremely careful when searching for surprises for your soulmate/family/friends if you use a common device with him/her. The situation in advertising she will see the results of your previous searches is obvious. The surprise is not here, and in the worst case, you have to explain that the gift was for him/her.

What to do with tracking cookies

Users can be recommended to use the incognito browser mode, which makes any cookies session, i.e. saves them only until the browser is closed. In this case, after finishing work, you must not forget to close the browser. It will not be superfluous to click on the buttons for refusing cookies on sites where permission to use them is requested.

Website owners who do not wish to facilitate marketing surveillance of users are advised to adhere to the principles and requirements of the European GDPR. In particular, you can set the cookie consent banner, which will block their installation until permission is obtained. If the user refuses, tracking cookies will not be set.

Instead of conclusions

The cases of detrimental effects of tracking cookies presented in the article are far from exhaustive, however, as are the imagination of marketers (in a good way). In the survey and comments, I would like to hear the opinion of the Hackerfoss audience and the possible risks of using tracking cookies for those who have nothing to hide.

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