European Parliament Restricts Cookie Use | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 15.11.2001
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European Parliament Restricts Cookie Use

The European Parliament has approved a proposal to protect online citizens from receiving unwanted spam-mail.


Taking a bite out of cookies.

Internet cookies are pieces of code that sit in a users internet cache. The cache allows user to quickly reload sites that they have already visited. Cookies enable the internet browser to remember the identity of each user.

These codes travel from a web site to a computer without the user's knowledge. At the same time, internet companies can access a user's information through them.

Cookies make it possible for companies to see what sites the user has visited. They can even get the online citizen’s email address.

The use of internet cookies by companies with an internet presence is now commonplace in today’s information age. After all, cookies allow for a more personalized internet experience.

Privacy concerns focused media attention on cookies early last year. The debate is far from over as marketing companies begin to exploit the information that they collect through cookies.

The future of cookies

The European Parliament has approved a proposal to protect online privacy and stamp out unwanted spam-mail. The EU wants to prevent private information from being exploited by companies interested in selling their products over the internet.

Under current law internet users are protected from receiving unwanted spam-mail. However, it's up to each member state to determine whether the end-user should have the right to opt-in or opt-out of receiving unwanted material via email.

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