Super Cookie

Definition & Meaning:

A Super Cookie is a type of tracking cookie that is stored in multiple locations on a user’s device, making it more difficult to detect and delete.

Unlike regular cookies, which are typically stored in a single location and can be deleted by users, Super Cookies are designed to persistently track users’ browsing behavior across websites, even after they have cleared their browser cookies or reset their device.

For example, a website may use Super Cookies to track your online activities, such as the websites you visit, the links you click, and the products you view or purchase.

This information is then used for targeted advertising, personalized content delivery, or user behavior analysis.

Super Cookies can also be used by third-party advertisers or data brokers to create detailed profiles of individual users based on their browsing history and preferences.

The term Super Cookie is often used interchangeably with other tracking technologies, such as Flash cookies (Local Shared Objects) or HTML5 storage, which also have the ability to store data persistently on users’ devices.

These technologies exploit various storage mechanisms, such as browser cache, local storage, or device identifiers, to bypass traditional cookie deletion methods and maintain tracking capabilities across browsing sessions.

From a privacy perspective, Super Cookies raise concerns about user consent, transparency, and control over data collection and tracking practices.

Users may not be aware of the presence of Super Cookies on their devices or the extent of data collection and tracking performed by websites and third parties.

This lack of awareness and control undermines user privacy and autonomy, potentially leading to intrusive targeted advertising, data profiling, or privacy violations.

To protect user privacy and mitigate the risks associated with Super Cookies, web browsers, and privacy advocates have implemented measures to limit their effectiveness and provide users with more control over their data.

For example, modern web browsers offer built-in privacy features, such as tracking protection, cookie blocking, and private browsing modes, to help users defend against invasive tracking practices.

Additionally, privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, require websites to obtain explicit consent from users before deploying tracking technologies like Super Cookies and provide mechanisms for users to opt out of tracking.