Understanding Cookies and Privacy Policies
Hello internet users. We all have seen them, we all have accepted them, we all have endured them. Now it’s time to take a look and see what they actually do.
I have looked into this with concerns that many, not all may not know what is going on with these.
Taking the liberty to find in detail what some of the many 1000’s of tracking cookies out there, I am posting the names of and what they do on your computer so you can better understand should you want to know.
On this site alone (HSN) there are over 100 requests from companies seeking and getting your information, what you click on, what website you clicked it on. So many to list but I hope you get the picture.
What is cookie profiling?
Cookie profiling, also called web profiling, is the use of persistent or permanent cookies to track a user’s overall activity online. This tracking does not just happen when you are on a particular site, but it occurs the whole time you are browsing. This kind of profiling activity is often done by marketers who buy advertising rights on thousands of popular websites in order to collect and collate cookie information and create a single “profile” of a user. Internet advertising, as it is called, targets potential customers based on the manner they browse the Internet. This is the very reason why most websites flash banner ads on their pages. This matter may not be a big deal for some, but others take their privacy seriously and are uneasy about being “followed around” and profiled.
Google-Analytics, (California) – google (ever hear of it), is collecting everything you do on the web, everything. They collect this info and then distribute it to any company that requests it, as long as they PAY for it. Your info being sold to places you would not otherwise disclose this info to.
Pinterest, (Virginia) – a social media connection that what else, tracks you and your social content.
tiqcdn, (California) – is involved with digital marketing that requests your info so that they may target you with ads. (cdn = content delivery network)
HSNI, (Florida) – HSN corporate.
Gamedek, Texas – Gamedek is the arcade administrator, Arkadium.
bootstrapcdn (Maxcdn), (California) – same as tiqcdn.
micpn, (Washington) – social media.
maxymiser, (Hong Kong) – behavioral targeting.
facebook, (California) – social media tracking, regardless of membership or not.
akamaihd, (Massachusetts) – content delivery network.
coremetrics, (New York) – web analytics (owned by IBM)
lithium, (Illinois) – social tracking.
mochibot, (California) consumer tracking.
hsncdn, (Florida) content delivery network.
edgesuite, (Washington) – part of akamai in content delivery.
miisolutions, (Georgia) – business process management.
vimeo, (California) – video services.
This is just a small % of the tracking companies on the internet. All websites use many many tracking cookies, this is just some of what HSN uses.
There is an extension in your browser called "Disconnect". This will also block tracking, look into this also. The one I like is, "Disconnectfb" No facebook tracking with this.
As you can see, all of these companies are notified when you are on the site by way of cookies that they put on when you visit the site.
Some of these are being used to to display ads specifically for you. Ever search, oh lets say an auto as an example? After leaving the search and sites for auto’s, the next sites you may happen to visit will show ads for vehicles.
You can "OPTOUT of these ads by visiting the opt out ad choices site and doing so yourself. Very easy to do. You will continue to see ads, but not targeted ads.
You can also, on your browser’s extension tabs download ad blockers that will block ALL ads on the internet. AdPlus is a good one but check to see what ad blocks are available on your browser.
I use a private browser when browsing the web. All browsers have private browsers, it may be in your tools, safety or little gear symbol near the top of your page. Can be labeled private browser, incognito, or other safety terms.
Next I have Privacy stats for this website from a trusted source. How well is a website in securing your info, how long does it keep it, do they share it and etc.
We may allow third-party advertising companies or ad networks to display advertisements on our online Services.
We do not provide any personal information to these companies.
These companies may use tracking tools, such as cookies, to collect information about computers and/or devices used to view or interact with their advertisements.
Some of these companies may be members of the NAI (network ad initiative), which offers consumers the ability to opt out of ad targeting by all member companies.
Children Privacy; has the website received TRUSTe’s children policy, NO
Do Not Track; does the website comply with a users DO NOT TRACK browser preference; QUESTIONABLE
SSL Support; does the website support secure communications over HTTPS by default, NO
TRUSTe Certified; has the website received TRUSTe’s Privacy Certification, NO
These are pretty much standard on the web, however, HSN reserves the right to change or edit these policies as they deem necessary at anytime, when they need to update them.
This one is very important!
Should HSN allow users of the HSN Services to communicate directly with each other via a messaging system, you understand and agree that you are solely responsible for your interactions with those other members on such system. You agree to take reasonable precautions in all interactions with other members of the HSN Services, and also agree that in no event shall HSN be liable for any damages whatsoever, whether direct, indirect, general, special, compensatory, consequential, and/or incidental, arising out of or relating to your use of any such messaging system. As always, you should follow internet safety tips, should not provide any personally identifiable information, including your email address or phone number, to unknown users, and you should exercise reasonable care with accessing links anyone may send you. You should never respond to requests from other users for financial information, like your credit or debit card, or requests for money. If you feel that any other user is sending you messages that violate these Conditions of Use or the HSN Community Guidelines, stop communicating with that user and please contact HSN Customer Service immediately.
HSN claim that a Private Message is just that. But through emails I have found that they call these "posts". So be cautious of sending a Private Message to any member that includes ANY personal identifying statements. email address, phone number, names with last names, social security numbers or even an address.
Data retention for Private Messages is, by HSN’s staff members statement to me is that they NEVER delete these messages from their files. You can delete them from your account but HSN will hold on to these indefinitely.
I am at great odds as to the policies and tracking on HSN’s website. Keep your private info private? How is this possible when HSN and other websites are spreading it all over the web to their partner sites, advertising companies, third party sites, but you need to keep it private while your here. Can you figure this out?
Proven source shows that some companies 3rd party affiliates are associated with spammers. Ever use a brand new email address on a website and soon after get spam in your inbox? Spammers hook up with companies that sell email address, did you catch the word (sell)?