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Knowledgebase Cookies 101 What is a Tracking Cookie?


What is a Tracking Cookie?

Last Updated: September 3, 2021

A tracking cookie is a sample of text dropped onto a browser while viewing a website. This text collects data from a user such as their activity on a website, browsing history, geographic location, purchase trends, and more.

What makes a tracking cookie unique is that it can follow a user across multiple sites or services and continue to stack data. The information gathered is often used for direct marketing purposes such as targeted ads, but tracking cookies do carry criticism as some fear the amount of data collected can be intrusive.

Tracking Cookies and Regulation


Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), users must give prior consent before tracking cookies are applied, meaning that no data can be tracked without the user first acknowledging and accepting the collection of data.


Under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), users must be informed of what data is being collected by tracking cookies as well as how that data is processed. They also have the right to delete or opt-out of personal information which is often stored by tracking cookies.


Along with the GDPR and CCPA, there are dozens of other regulations that govern the use of tracking cookies. To make sure your website is compliant, get a free website scan from CookiePro for a detailed report of tracking cookies found on your website. Then, tailor a cookie banner to capture consent before tracking cookies are dropped.  

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