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2669RE: [webanalytics] Re: First Party Vs. Third Party Cookie

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  • Craig Sullivan
    Jun 1, 2005
      [webanalytics] Re: First Party Vs. Third Party Cookie
      Thanks for the mention there Stephen.  We do require people to accept first party cookies to use our site but it isn't down to pure marketing reasons <grin>.  We have a balance to strike between ensuring session security (see www.owasp.org) and measuring visitor traffic in a way that helps me improve the site experience.
      Yes,  the big difference I feel between many UK firms and US firms is that we in the UK are very aware of our responsibilities under the Data Protection laws.  In the USA, I think that there are some (not all) firms that take advantage of the information provided to abuse the relationship between consumer visits and the desire to market to these visitors.  I don't think the regulatory framework is strong enough in the US and I'm quite happy to work with the rules we have here in the uk (and EU)....
      We are just completing our membership of the bonded sender program (sic) and this will allow us to get regular system emails to our customers.  We don't view this work as a way of sending rubbish to people but to ensure that our customers get timely, useful and pertinent information relating to their account subscription with us. 
      There IS a benefit to web metrics and like Star Wars, this can always be used for the 'Dark Side' as well as for the good of the force.  I try to use this to benefit customers in meaningful ways.  For example, I've noticed that lots of people need new envelopes so I'm working on a 'request an envelope' system.  Some 'Dark Side' marketing folks probably would like to send them a co-branded envelope and several emails but I simply want to help people get what they want.
      Cookies, logins, session IDs and other information can be used or misused - it all depends on the intent of the company involved. 
      Craig Sullivan
      Product Manager, LOVEFiLM.
      Sign up with code EM25 for a free month on me!
      Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7751 7547
      Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7751 7505
      Mobile: + 44 (0) 7711 657 315 

      From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Stephen Turner
      Sent: Wed 6/1/2005 2:31 PM
      To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [webanalytics] Re: First Party Vs. Third Party Cookie

      --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, Joe Wilson <joe.wilson@m...>

      > Stephen Turner
      > >As far as I can see, all third-party cookies are for
      the benefit of
      > >the site owner, not the visitor. The only benefits
      for the visitor
      > >are indirect ones (keeping the cost of the site down
      > I am not trying to be argumentative, but it seems the
      same could be
      > said of all cookies and all tracking (including web
      analytics).  The
      > tie between tracking of visitor usage on a single
      site and some
      > benefit to the visitor is tangential at best (improved
      > navigation, more relevant content, etc).  There is no direct
      > to the consumer for any of these activities (with the possible,
      > I would claim trivial, exception of site

      All tracking, but not all cookies. Some sites, such as Craig's site
      LOVEFiLM, inherently require you to be logged in. They are unusable
      without cookies, or at least some sort of session id. They don't
      require persistent cookies, but it's convenient to me not to have to
      log in again every day.

      > It is my perspective that the debate
      over third party cookies is a
      > canard.  The real issue is control
      over data, who has that control
      > and what the balance should be between a
      consumers right to privacy
      > and the rights of a business to maximize the
      value of their business
      > data. 

      I think that's a fair point. Individuals put that balance in different
      places, and different cultures do too. In particular, Europeans tend
      to be much more skeptical of "rights of a business" in general. With
      regard to personal data, in the UK we have laws requiring businesses
      to reveal all personal data they hold about me for a £10 fee, and
      to give me an opportunity at data collection time to opt out of having
      my details passed to any other company. So I think the average
      European and the average American may have different perspectives on

      Stephen Turner
      CTO, ClickTracks   http://www.clicktracks.com/

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