Third party cookies on Danish public radio web site

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Dr-thirdpartycookie

I have recently switched on ‘ask’ for the web cookie (HTTP cookie) management on my Web browser. And I must say I am surprised by the number of web sites using not only their own cookies, but also cookies from third parties.

Danmarks Radio (DR), the Danish publicly funded radio and television, has no commercials neither in the radio, the television nor on the associated web site. I was therefore somewhat surprised that I got a cookie for www.mybanker.dk after browsing on the DR Web site. It turns out that some of the financial data displayed on the DR web site are coming from a server in the domain “six.se”, and it seems that the cookie is coming in from included content. So by browsing DR web site data is send to a company. A cookie is not quite an advertisement. However, it must be of commercial value. Why else should the company have the trouble of adding the cookie? I would think that DR is on slippery ground here.

Besides www.mybanker.dk DR third party cookies is also transmitted from the Polish Gemius company that presumable is doing Web statistics for DR.
Also cookies from dr.adservinginternational.com and .addthis.com show up.

In a modern browser the user can control how ordinary cookies are set. Disabling it completely is not usually an option, because cookies are widely used for web service login. A further issue is Flash cookies, – also called Local Shared Objects. These cookies come from Flash content and are not (at the moment) disabled with the web browser configuration. Many users are unaware of that. Flash cookies can be used by advertisers to circumvent user deletion of web cookies.

A 2009 study found that 98 of the top 100 web sites used ordinary cookies in a standard browsing session (with wikipedia.org and wikimedia.org as the two only exceptions) and 54 sites used Flash cookies. 37 of the 100 web sites had matching web and Flash cookies from advertisement companies. Even whitehouse.gov used Flash cookies.

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