How to kill the evercookie and supercookie, the cockroaches of tracking
Advertisers want to track us. We typically, but not exclusively, prefer not to be tracked. In the best case, we’re aware of the fact, and use opt-out policies and third-party add-ons to profess disinterest in, technically block, or otherwise delete unique codes or patterns designed to sniff our footprints across the Internet and assemble a dossier on us for marketers to more effectively target our interests.
But I give advertisers too hard a time, when it’s really the behavior of advertising networks and other parties that create platforms on which ads are delivered or marketing data collected and then sold. The ecosystem of online advertising involves a lot of different specialized entities, and it would hard to say that, say, Nordstrom knows that some of its ads might appear on sites for reasons that involve violating our intent and possibly our privacy. Many advertisers don’t really know where their ads wind up, even. This should change: advertisers should have outside privacy and technology audits on the networks they use.