Think Info

Exploring the information space

A side order of biscuits

This site does not use cookies. It is, however, served with them.

UK law now required that you, as a user of this site, be notified that there are small pieces of data distributed with the pages of this site, that can track you. And you must be presented with the opportunity to opt in to receiving them. If you don’t want them, skip to the instructions at the end.
your order of cookies

What’s a cookie?

Cookies are small elements of information – an identifier and a value. In themselves, they are gibberish. It is what is done with them is potentially problematic. Web site owners like to build up profiles of their visitors, to better serve them. During a single visit, there are many ways to do this. Placing a cookie on your machine allows a site to identify you across visits.

What’s the fuss about?

The UK passed a law – based on an EU directive – intended to protect internet users from abusive tracking of their online activity. Someone with had little understanding of the underlying technology and practices came up with the wording. Now, every site accessed by users in the UK must obtain individual consent in order to serve cookies. Each one must regale you with this wonderful information about why we are doing it.

What was that about only “served with” cookies?

The owner of this site has not placed any cookies on it. If cookies were used on this site, they would serve exclusively to provide contextual navigation. No information about visitors is collected by this site. But, because of the hosting environment and other services the site uses, accessing this site will means you will receive cookies – but none from think-info.com.

Whose cookies are they?

There are two types of cookies served with this site.

The first is the cookie(s) used by wordpress.com – the hosting platform. These cookie track you between WordPress-hopsted sites. WordPress and/or its affiliates may use the information gathered using these cookies to target you with advertising. These cookies are not associated with think-info.com, and there presence is not endorsed by the site’s ownership.

Secondly, this site includes social sharing functionality. These services (fundamentally) do not require cookies, but the companies’ whose mechanisms are included don’t care about that; they are more interested in you as a commodity. Google, Facebook and Twitter know that they can track your behaviour on this site, and many others, to build up a profile they can then sell to people who want to advertise to people just like you. These cookies are served by the respective providers. They do not come from think-info.com.

Opting…

The law states that you must be informed by those wanting to serve you cookies, and then opt in to receive them (which may be implicitly). Given where the cookies served with this site actually come from, the duty to obtain your consent resides entirely with WordPress, Google, Facebook and Twitter.

If you have a problem with those services tracking you, take matters into your own hands: leave this site and don’t come back – nor go elsewhere on the internet, for they will be tracking you there too – until each implements functionality that allows you to opt in/out of their harvesting of your soul – er, profile. We will miss you, but that’s the price we pay while politicians try to regulate a medium they don’t understand.

Oh, and remember to clear your browser cookies before the door hits you on the way out.

Reference links

Cookies, by Chris Shipton@ChrisShipton
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