Industry Leaders Given a Snapshot of Cookie Management Tools in Forthcoming Versions of Major Browsers
Cookies allow web publishers to customize the web user's experience and more effectively target advertising, but cookies have been at the center of major privacy debates this year. Some on Capitol Hill have called for all government sites to eliminate cookie use. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce have forged an agreement with the members of the Network Advertising Initiative to insure that consumers will soon have notice and choice as to all cookies employed for user profiling.
The Internet Explorer browser is currently used by both Microsoft and AOL, although AOL may shift to Netscape when its contract with Microsoft expires.
In late November, an AOL team briefed members of the Online Privacy Alliance on the cookie management enhancements being incorporated in new versions of its Netscape browser. The Netscape 6 browser has a new cookie viewer to give users easier access to their cookie files, and enables users to set more detailed preferences on which cookies to accept or reject.
Netscape 6 cookie defaults are set to accept all cookies, but when a consumer uses the cookie manager to remove a cookie, the browser will not accept that cookie again. The browser also has a new "Forms Manager" and "Password Manager" that allow users to more easily manage web interactions. n
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