Computer Cookies Don’t Have Chocolate Chips

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Ummmmm. Cookies. I mean oh no! Cookies.

If you’ve received the message when you click on a website: This site uses cookies to enhance your experience on this site, you, like me, might think: cookies? Yay.

Chocolate chip cookies would, in fact, enhance my experience. Too bad for us. The cookies of which they speak are encrypted text files that are used by almost all websites. They’re created when your browser visits a particular website, which then sends a file back to your computer to make your browsing on that site easier and to store your preferences.

They aren’t viruses but they can be used for annoying purposes like to send you advertising and can be used as spyware.

The reason why some websites tell you that ‘good news! This website uses cookies to enhance your experience!’ is because starting in May of 2011, the European Union made a law saying that any website that uses cookies has to get your consent, which it does by informing you of the practice and telling you that use of the site constitutes your consent.

There’s no law in the US requiring US-based companies to let you know if they’re using them, but US companies would still have the requirement if they have a European presence.

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