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Home » Hacking News » AOL is Invading someones privacy? No way!

AOL is Invading someones privacy? No way!

by Majik on October 8th, 2001 Although America Online (AOL) recently warned its subscribers that it would deposit "cookies" on their computers, AOL today said that its retooled policy is more privacy-friendly than those of most consumer Web sites.


The policy of using cookies - small text files which can be placed on the computers of site visitors - to help coordinate Internet advertising and count unique users is "absolutely consistent with what every other company in the industry is doing," AOL spokesman Andrew Weinstein said today.





At least one privacy advocate supported AOL's contention. "What they've outlined is pretty much standard practice for Web sites," Privacy Foundation Chief Technology Officer Richard Smith said today. "About the only place you don't get cookies now is federal government Web sites."





Weinstein said that AOL will not use cookies to track individual users.





"Our policy is that we don't follow our members around and market to them based on what they do online," Weinstein said.





Smith said that such a policy is needed in an online world where cookies are ubiquitous.





Sites that use cookies and "Web bugs" to make sure that anonymous unique users don't see the same advertisement twice in a row does not raise the same kinds of concerns as sites that use cookies to develop profiles on specific users, Smith said.


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