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Understanding cookies used on websites

How can we have an understanding of the use of cookies when even a Government Department uses them to sell us stuff.

 

There is now a Europe wide requirement that we should give anyone visiting our websites the option not to download cookies. This of course may mean that we might not enjoy the full functionality of a particular website so, by and large, if we think the owner of the website can be trusted, we agree to accept cookies. This must surely be particularly true when we are filling in our Self-Assessment tax return as we want to make sure that we don't lose the information already entered when we are doing it over time.

 

Imagine my surprise therefore when I discovered that among the cookies set by the HMRC website are:

 

"OAX" from 24/7 Real Media, WPP plc - which controls the frequency of advertisements (including pop-ups) and assists in delivering more relevant advertising.

 

"MUID" from Atlas Advertiser Suite (Microsoft) - which tracks and delivers targeted advertising to web users based on their browsing behaviour. Used by Microsoft's advertising platform, Atlas Solutions, for campaign performance tracking.

 

How can we small businesses be expected to follow the spirit of the law when even Government Departments are trying to sell us stuff when we fill in our tax return?

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Idea No. 23