Ad blockers don’t stop cookie popups, but this browser extension will do it

I traveled to England last year and boy was my arm tired! Tired of clicking cookie pop-ups on every website I’ve visited, ie.

Surely you know what I’m talking about: Those banners or popups Which appears often, unblocked, when you go to a website you’ve never visited before. They should tell you that a website is tracking you using small pieces of code called cookies and give you a way to decline these cookies, as required by law in certain places (England, for example). What popups usually do is tell you that the page you’re visiting is using cookies to give you a better experience but you can – and then at this point you’ve probably stopped reading the fine print and hit the big illuminated button that says “accept” because you don’t have time for that. You have now done exactly what the website wants you to do: you have agreed to be tracked.

“You are forced to spend too much time having to get bogged down in this thing, searching for a setting that you might like and finding it readily available to you,” Jennifer King, a data and privacy policy fellow at the Stanford University Institute of Humans-Centre for Artificial Intelligence, said Ricod. “They are annoying.”

If you’re tired of it being a chore to maintain your privacy, I have some good news for you: There are ways to refuse cookies and prevent those pop-ups from appearing at all. A new one, called Never-Consent, was announced today. It comes to us from Ghostery, which specializes in privacy-focused web tools. If you do what Ghostery promises, it will make maintaining your privacy as easy and quick as clicking accept on those popups now. The cost will be the “personalized” experience that marketers say their cookies provide.

While some cookies are necessary for a website to function and do, in fact, make your experience better, there are many simply to track you online and collect data about you, usually by companies you had no idea they had that website built into in the first place. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was supposed to tell users that they are being tracked and give them a way to opt out of that tracking.

Goodwill GDP in theory. But in practice, many companies have messed up the rules to give us these deceptively worded banners that no one understands and everyone hates. If you are looking for examples of dark patternsor designs that aim to manipulate people into doing or choosing certain things, you can usually find them in the nearest cookie consent pop-up.

Harry Brignole, who coined the term “dark patterns” and . said: He tracks them on his website. “For example, maybe they will have a maze of menus and dozens of things to click through on different pages. None of these things really need to exist — their only purpose is to trick or frustrate you into giving up and clicking the big, shiny accept button.”

You may have noticed that a lot of websites based in the US also have it. You may also have noticed that many of them have added banners in the past few years. This might be because California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which took effect at the beginning of 2020. The CCPA says that websites should at least tell users that they are being tracked. Unlike the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it does not require sites to give users an option to decline cookies unless users are under 16 years old. Instead of trying to figure out the relevant details – which visitors are teens and adults, which users are based in Europe and which are not, which users are in California and which are not – many sites have just opted for an opt-in banner to cover their bases. And then, most of them make the rejected cookies the path of most resistance.

This is where Never-Consent comes in. It blocks pop-ups and automatically rejects cookies. ‘Disapproval’ will be added to Ghostery Browser Extension In the coming weeks. The company says all you have to do is install the extension and it will do the work for you.

Krzysztof Modras, director of engineering and products at Ghostery, said the company has primarily looked at about 100 existing cookie consent frameworks and found a way to automatically reject and block them. Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe FrameworkFor example, running About 80 percent European sites, but have also recently been found to be in violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). (Oops!) This means that there may be some sites that get away with it if you don’t use a third-party cookie consent mechanism known to Ghostery. But users can report these sites to Ghostery, and these frameworks will be added.

there Some other extensions You can try doing something similar to Never-Consent. If you don’t want to bother searching for and installing browser extensions – and Brignull notes that browser extensions and the companies that make them can also track you, be careful who you trust – you can always Use the browser Which prevents tracking cookies by default. At this point, almost all of them are doing it except for chromewhich is the most famous and also made by a company Firm interest in tracking you Online, which is definitely a coincidence.

There is, too Global Privacy Monitor, which automatically tells websites not to sell or share user data. But GPC is not available in all browsers (most notably Chrome and Safari), and websites are also just forced To respect it for California users, in accordance with the California Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CCPA). UK is Road work To get rid of cookie pop-ups and replace them with a browser-based tool as well. The Ghostery extension blocks third-party cookies before you do not consent. But now you will also be able to actively tell websites that you don’t want to be tracked as well as passively block their cookies.

“I think the big picture is that it’s important to have a tool that not only blocks these things, but actively sends disapproval to publishers,” said Jean-Paul Schmitz, CEO of Ghostery.

How important is that really for websites that post popups designed to confuse and annoy you when applying? I’m not sure. Especially if, like me, you live in a place where there are no privacy laws that require companies to respect your preferences. But at the very least, it will give you that feeling of standing up for yourself.

Just don’t think that the days of annoying popups or being tracked are gone for good. More and more companies are using them to encourage you to sign up for newsletters and marketing emails. this their way They are still collecting data about you now that cookies are on the way out. As we’ve seen from the prevalence of cookie popups, companies are always looking for – and likely to find – a new way to track you as their current method is shutting down.

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