Government Speaks out on Cookies

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  The Energy Department's Computer Incident Advisory Capability (CIAC) recently issued a report on cookie technology and its use on the web. They deemed the general use as being ok, but did stress concern over the use of persistent cookies to target users, "Cookies are being used for tracking people's browsing habits, and that makes a lot of people really uncomfortable." The report also indicated that as long as companies maintain a good sense of ethics, inherently bad uses of cookies could be prevented. People can also have good control of the cookies stored on their system, either by manipulating their cookie files or using third party software.

The report stressed that there's a sense of paranoia involved with cookies, cookies cannot harm your computer or pass on private information such as an email address without the user's intervention in the first place. Paranoia has recently been sparked by one rumour involving AOL's new software, it claimed that AOL were planning to use cookies to obtain private information from users hard drives. Such hoaxes have not helped the reputation of cookies.

Cookies have attracted a lot of attention over recent months, the first batch of cookies were originally cooked up as simple mechanism to help make it easier for users to access their favourite sites by storing passwords, a process previously impossible due to the stateless nature of HTTP.

For more information see the report "Government OKs Net cookies" from

And "Cookie Worries Are Unfounded, U.S. Government Says"

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