Updated February 3, 2020.
If you are not a developer (as I am not), the best way to understand this tech world is sometimes through metaphors. They risk simplifying things, sure, but they also lend us perspective on the rampant surveillance capitalism of the ad tech industry that can otherwise be hard to fathom.
So here’s a metaphor: a “cookie script” is a lock on the front door of your website that enables you to control powerful strangers, who’d like to eavesdrop on your users for profit.
A “cookie script” is a very technical thing, but it is also very simple: your user protection against the titanic ad tech industry.
For those of us somewhat new or alien to the developer’s world, the term script simply refers to the “scripting language” that a developer writes in when they code a website or an app or what have you.
It’s a string of text, a coding language that commands functions and executes tasks.
In the case of a cookie script, we’re talking about a piece of code that is inserted into the website’s coding to specifically deal with cookies and online tracking present and operating on that site.
A cookie is a file that is placed on your users’ devices when they visit your website. There are different cookies, some are necessary, meaning they are first-party cookies essential for the website to function. These are not privacy intrusive.
Others are marketing cookies or analytic cookies; third-party cookies that gather and share user data and sometimes sensitive, personal information with other companies. In fact, a billion-dollar industry has evolved around this gathering and sharing (i.e. selling) of personal information. We will have a comprehensive look at this later.
Cookie scripts are at the core of the Cookiebot technology.
The Cookiebot scanner detects all of the tracking on your website, then automatically controls it until your users have given their prior consent (required by the GDPR in EU) or features a Do Not Sell My Personal Information link (required by the CCPA in California).
In doubt whether your website is GDPR compliant? Test with Cookiebot's free compliance test.
Try Cookiebot free for 30 days... or forever if you have a small website.
In 2018, the EU passed a law called the GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation – which requires website operators to obtain the prior consent of a user before activating cookies and tracking on their website.
To live up to the GDPR as a website operator, you are required to not only know what cookies exists on your domain, you must also be able to control them.
Even if your website isn’t from the EU, you still have to comply with the GDPR if you have just one visitor from Europe. The GDPR protects all EU citizens and its jurisdiction is global.
On January 1, 2020, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) took effect, regulating how businesses are allowed to collect and sell the personal information of California residents.
If your website is located in California, you may be wondering how to be compliant with the California Consumer Privacy Act.
Protecting your website and its users from third-party trackers is and remains a solid solution against privacy intrusion by the ad tech industry.
This is what we do at Cookiebot. We do that for you. We enable compliance with both GDPR/ePR and CCPA.
Cookie scripts are the locks to your virtual house, so you and your guests can be safe.
On the behavioral markets of the ad tech industry today, personal information and data is harvested and sold to the highest bidder billions of times each day in what is known as real time bidding systems that most people are completely unaware of.
This has frightening implications for human anonymity, autonomy and identity.
These markets are based on predictive analyses of behavioral data (that means the data of who you are and what you do), and they profit greatly from attempting to herd users towards the predictive commercial outcomes.
In defiance of this run-amok ad tech industry, our CEO spent five years in his attic developing what came to be the Cookiebot solution: a window in your virtual house and a lock on your digital front door.
Our cookie message scripts protect your users' privacy.
Cookiebot is quickly becoming the de facto standard cookie solution in the industry today because of our well-thought out and worked-through cookie scripts that enable full GDPR/ePR and CCPA compliance and peace of mind when it comes to website cookies and tracking.
An example of Cookiebot cookie scripts locking your doors, keeping you safe.
Today, Cookiebot is a fast-growing team with talented developers at the center of it all – constantly evolving and improving our software as a service for transparency and privacy across the world for website operators as well as the end-users.
Cookiebot is a cookie software, implemented from the cloud straight onto your website.
As generators of cookie scripts, our mission is to push for a safer internet by protecting the fundamental rights of privacy. Our cookie scripts are our humble, but thorough and effective contribution to this larger struggle raging today. Behind our Cookiebot scripts are other parts of our technology that enables privacy on your website.
Our scanning technology maps out the cookies and tracking on your domains, and our cookie scripts block them into groups determined by their function.
Control is then handed over to the website visitor, who is presented with a cookie consent banner, in which they can choose what tracking they will allow to interact with their devices.
Look and lock with cookie scripts.
Cookiebot script cookies are regulated by, from the point of view of the developer and website operator.
Cookiebot operates two types of cookie scripts:
The first cookie script will manage the cookie consent banner that you undoubtably know from most websites today.
The second cookie script will spawn the cookie declaration, in which each cookie is named, its provider identified, its purpose specified, and its expiration stated.
Cookiebot consent banner from the point of view of the end-user.
To implement the cookie consent banner on your domain, follow the three-step process here.
It is important to follow all three steps order to make sure that your website is GDPR compliant.
Once it is implemented correctly, the cookie consent banner will feature when a user arrives on your domain, giving them the choice of consent.
To see how Cookiebot works on the inside, visit our developer page.
Try Cookiebot for free now and scan your website to see how unlocked and wide-open your doors are, and how many strangers are roaming around in your virtual house already.
In this world of cookie and tracking and real time bidding systems selling your users’ personal information, it can sometimes be hard to get a handle on what to do to protect yourself and your users from being surveilled by hundreds of anonymous ad tech companies around the world.
The ad tech industry itself is also a very abstract thing. But it’s a thing, a very real thing.
The ad tech industry is as unfathomably large and intricate as a cookie script is technical.
But there is a way to see it all at once, in one picture – it’s called the Martech 5000, or LumaSpace as it is also known within the industry.
The Martech 5000 (or marketing technology landscape) paints a large picture of the 7.040 "marketing technology solutions" that make up the ad tech industry.
It took nine people four months to complete this tableau of surveillance capitalism.
It is a rare glimpse into the vast ecosystem of the ad tech industry: seven thousand four hundred companies, of the most well-known are Google, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft and LinkedIn.
This is the industry behind behavioral advertisement, real time bidding and data harvesting, so big that it might seem impossible to do anything about.
But the very point and mission of Cookiebot, our unique scanning technology and cookie solution is to instill a balance through transparency and self-determination of the as-is unchecked monetization of personal information.
A cookie script with its cookie consent text from Cookiebot enables website owners to protect their end-users’ privacy and ensures a safeguarding of their personal information, so that it doesn’t end up circulating the vast behavioral markets without their knowledge and consent.
Our cookie scanner installs a window and reveals for all to see the behavioral markets of surveillance capitalism.
Our cookie scripts then lock your door, so that the users are safe and secure.
The shocking handling of user data has often been justified by the industry itself with the argument that it provides huge value to publishers and businesses.
But a recent study published by the Wall Street Journal – the first empirical study of its kind – suggests that the impact of behaviorally targeted advertising on publisher’s revenue amounts to only a 4% increase in revenue.
“The harm to privacy, the expansion of government surveillance, the ability to microtarget and drive divisive content (…) were often justified to industry because of this ‘huge’ value to publishers”, Ashkan Soltani, co-author of the CCPA commented on the conclusions of the study.
The real profits go to the ad tech industry, along with the power of surveillance.
For an industry that charges sixty cents for every dollar spent on digital ads, these are sobering findings.
For all of us fighting for a human future beyond digital surveillance, this is yet another look through the window at the ugly truth of surveillance capitalism.
Here at Cookiebot, we believe that a cookie solution like ours – with our cookie scripts that manage consent and our full tracking declarations – is the right way forward.
Try our cookie software today.