The use & misuse of data

Are cookies good or bad?

The use of data

We have all been on the receiving end of data driven advertising. Whether it’s the mysterious reminder of sale items you were looking at last night or an email with details of flights or train tickets to your exact destination.

We are often asked how Facebook ‘knew’ I liked that brand or had just been on that website.

This sometimes spookily accurate targeting is based on Cookies. But they shouldn’t be feared – marketing companies have been accessing data like this for years, except that before it was based on postcode & your credit history via companies like Experian.

When you access a website, a small text file is sent from server to browser & stored on the browser so that when that user returns to the website, their information is stored.

This data is beneficial to the customer for lots of reasons, such as saving time re-entering details or getting a better experience from the website.

Cookies are also beneficial to you, the business holding this data because it enables you to see what your customers are up to on your website. However, it’s up to you to be transparent & honest about the data you have. Not only do cookies help you with advertising & user experience but information on your customers (email, address, DOB, card details) should also be listed as data your responsible for.

As a rule, we recommend that you let your customers know if you are using cookies and outline what data you collect & how you use it in a Privacy Policy on site. We also recommend that you are completely transparent about their rights to remove cookies or unsubscribe from marketing lists you’re sharing with third parties. Keep a link to your policy in the footer of your website, there is no point in obscuring information like this or making it difficult for your customer to find. Click here to read more about data legislation.


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