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What are cookies on the internet?

Also biscuits: delicious biscuits. A stack of oatmeal biscuits is symbolic of cookies on the internet.

What are cookies on the internet?

Cookies on websites are small text sequences of information that are stored directly in the browser. A cookie has a specific name and a specific value, both made up of arbitrary strings.

They are mainly used to store useful things like your login or which items you have in your shopping cart.

In these two cases, they remember the state on a website and they belong to the group of functional cookies. 

Why is this necessary at all?

The nature of the internet is such that a certain state cannot be remembered.

Imagine your online banking without cookies. After each new page view you would make there, you would have to log in again.

So on the one hand, cookies are useful, but they can also be abused. 

What do cookies have to do with data protection?

Data collectors can set cookies and use their names and values to read pairs that reside on your browser to accurately read your browsing behaviour. When you go to a website where these cookies are then read out again. Many large advertising companies use website cookies to deliver personalised advertising.

This misuse of cookies is a violation of your privacy and browsers usually allow you to block, limit or delete these cookies.

See also

Also biscuits: delicious biscuits. A stack of oatmeal biscuits is symbolic of cookies on the internet.

Why the annoying cookie notices?

19 February 2021

In this post we explain why you've been seeing cookie consent windows on many websites for some time and whether they are necessary on your website.

Cookies? No, thanks. - Hand pushes biscuit bowl away. The image is symbolic of using Matomo without a cookie.

Statistics cookie-free: run Matomo without biscuits

25 February 2021

In the article on the subject of cookie consent, it was already pointed out that website statistics with Matomo are also possible without cookies. Why then are cookies used in Matomo at all and what are the consequences of deactivating them?


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