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Can anyone explain to me why the browser isn't the one asking the user? Since, y'know, the browser is the only thing that actually prevents a cookie from being placed or sent in the first place?

The browser cannot distinguish between cookies that are necessary to support a feature you're using (e.g. a session cookie for a login or shopping cart) and a tracking cookie.

The former does not require consent. The latter does.

That's a technical problem, which shouldn't prevent solving the main usability issue.

For example, the CAN-SPAM act requires the words "SEXUALLY EXPLICIT" to accompany messages with sexual/adult content. A tracking cookie's name can simply have the word "tracking" in it, which would trigger a browser to throw up a consent pop-up. A long, useless message from the site about why the user should click it could be provided to the user in a number of ways. The law doesn't even have to specify that

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