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FTA he's quoting:

> And the Dutch DPA’s guidance makes it clear internet visitors must be asked for permission in advance for any tracking software to be placed — such as third-party tracking cookies; tracking pixels; and browser fingerprinting tech — and that that permission must be freely obtained. Ergo, a free choice must be offered.

Neither cookies, nor tracking pixels, nor browser fingerprinting are software. Your web browser is software. The server side runs software. These are data.

It seems pedantic, but I think it shows that the lawmakers have an underlying misunderstanding of how tech (and the world) works.

To make an analogy, cookies and tracking pixels are akin to license plates. I think the authors of this law thought they were more like cellular GPS beacons.

It's one thing to say, "no installing a device which actively communicates home on your visitors". It's quite another to say, "No remembering your visitor's face unless they tell you it's ok."




>> And the Dutch DPA’s guidance makes it clear internet visitors must be asked for permission in advance for any tracking software to be placed — such as third-party tracking cookies; tracking pixels; and browser fingerprinting tech — and that that permission must be freely obtained. Ergo, a free choice must be offered.

> Neither cookies, nor tracking pixels, nor browser fingerprinting are software. Your web browser is software. The server side runs software. These are data.

> It seems pedantic, but I think it shows that the lawmakers have an underlying misunderstanding of how tech (and the world) works.

No, that's just TechCruch's summary. This is the Dutch DPA's actual guidance: https://autoriteitpersoonsgegevens.nl/nl/nieuws/websites-moe...

It's in Dutch. I would not be surprised if "software" has a slightly different meaning or connotations than in English.

And even if it doesn't you don't need a precise command of technical jargon as a practitioner would use it to have a good understanding of an area. The meaning of TechCruch's translation was perfectly clear to me, and better than alternate formulations I can think of that avoid using "software" to refer to cookies. Maybe they should have just government-jargon and called them "tracking cybers."


Tracking cookies, pixels, etc., are implemented by server-side software; perhaps the matter you would like to contend is what the meaning of the word "placed" is.


Cookies are data that is placed on the visitor's computer. Tracking pixels are software instructions placed on the visitor's computer.

The tracking that is akin "remembering a face" is user agent and ip address tracking.

In my mind, a store that uses facial recognition software to track my movement within the store and purchasing habbits is still incredibly creepy and highly invasive of my privacy.


The government has automated license plate readers that do much the same thing. Their justification is, you're in a public place, you have no expectation of privacy. I'm a little more concerned about that.

If I don't want to be tracked, I can choose to shop at a different store. But I can't live in a system of underground tunnels.


In Germany, your privacy is protected in public places as well. A German court just recently ordered a German state to turn off an automated license plate reader: http://www.spiegel.de/auto/aktuell/b6-streckenradar-verwaltu... (only available in German)


> It seems pedantic, but I think it shows that the lawmakers have an underlying misunderstanding of how tech (and the world) works.

In Germany, they actually demanded an "Internet eraser" (https://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Digitaler-Radiergumm...) [so ridiculous I don't think anyone ever attempted to translate] so content, mostly images, would somehow 'automatically expire'. Never worked, images could be screenshotted, etc. etc. Said this was "highest standards made in Germany". Never made sense, never took off.

The US came up with Snapchat.




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