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Internet Cookies, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 394

Essay

The Federal Trade Commission describes Internet cookies as small text files that are placed on computers by websites that people visit. It is also noted that the purpose of cookies is to collect information about a website visitor’s surfing habits and activities while on the website. Cookies track information such as user names and shopping preferences. Companies use this information to better target market to visitors to their websites (Internet Cookies, n.d.). This sometimes raises questions about consumer privacy which has ethical implications.

Consumer Privacy and the Use of Cookies

According to the Federal Trade Commission, website owners are required by Federal law to disclose how they “collect, use, share, and protect” (What Does The FTC Do) personal information gathered about visitors to their websites. This includes information gathered from the use of cookies. It can be argued that collecting information about people when they visit a website, even if a privacy policy discloses it, is unethical because it violates a person’s privacy. This makes this practice seem unacceptable; however, companies benefit from using cookies. In this information age, cookies are a way for companies to target the market of consumers who are technologically and digitally savvy. This is acceptable. It just shows that marketing has evolved with the changing times just like most everything else in today’s world.

Conclusion

Although there are fears among consumers that cookies on their computers may draw in harmful viruses or other undesirable connections, it is important to note that cookies are not spyware. They are used to prevent users from seeing the same ads over and over, for one thing. Cookies also enhance a user’s experience on websites and without them, one may not even be able to access some websites at all (Goldsborough, 2005). With this in mind, users are still able to delete or disable cookies on their computers if they choose. Overall, however, cookies are just another part of the digital revolution and will probably not be going away anytime soon.

References

Goldsborough, R. (2005). The Benefits, and Fear, of Cookie Technology. Tech Directions, 64(10), 9.

Internet Cookies. (n.d.). Federal Trade Commission website. Retrieved November 26, 2012 from http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/cookies.shtm

What Does the FTC Do with Your Personal Information? Federal Trade Commission website. Retrieved November 26, 2012 from http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.shtm

Nervous System. (n.d.). The Merriam-Webster dictionary online. Retrieved November 26, 2012 from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nervous%20system

Neurological Examination. (n.d.). The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center website. Retrieved November 26, 2012 from http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare/healthcare_services/nervous_system/about/exams/Pages/index.aspx

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