The Ethical Argument Begins
Everyone has encountered cookies before. No, not the sweet but dangerous baked goods. We are talking about the kind found on websites and browsers. Users who don’t really look into the meaning of cookies, probably don’t realize just how large of an impact they serve. For those who know exactly what they consist of, the realization can be daunting. Therefore, one question is prompted. Is it ethical for companies to be using cookies and accessing private information for their own benefit?
Benefits for the User
Firstly, it is wrong to assume cookies only benefit the companies using them. Cookies can also benefit the user. They allow a more personalized experience on the web. Content is catered to you and your interests. Ads that pertain to recent searches and websites will be shown. Did you just look at a product on Amazon? You can expect to see that same product, and similar ones, in a banner ad on other websites. Yes, some people don’t like this and feel as if it is invasive. However, some people enjoy this one of a kind experience. Secondly, there is an option to say no to cookies. Continuously clear out the cookies and cache data if at all uncomfortable. The choice is yours, so use it.
Benefits for the Company
The existence of cookies is to help companies or organizations gain information about the users who interact with them. Yes, as mentioned above it benefits the users in some ways as well. However, we cannot forget why they are being used. The personal information kept within the cookie is invaluable. It gives you a sense of your audience without having to ask everyone their demographics. For example, cookies know genders, age, location, device, etc. The list goes on and on. Scary? Yes. Will it change? No. In short, cookies help companies understand who their audience is very easily. The effectiveness and efficiency is too good to pass up.
The Ethical Summary
As a result, get used to the question “Allow Cookies?”. That is not going to be going away anytime soon. Ethical boundaries will continue to be pushed. How far will we let them go?