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Cookies have been around for decades, and honestly, I think at least 90% of all people on the internet have no clue how they work. So why, just in the last few years, does almost every Web site I go to now have a "Cookie Notice" that I have to accept? A "Cookie Notice" wasn't necessary for the first 20+ years they have existed, so what's the deal? Is this related to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

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Yes, it is related to GDPR. As said in this article:

Why am I seeing more cookies pop-ups lately?

Back in May (2018), a sweeping piece of EU law called the GDPR came into force.

In short, it means companies need to get your explicit consent to collect your data.

If a cookie can identify you via your device (which most cookies do), then companies need your consent.

That's why you're now seeing lots of websites asking for your permission before dumping a cookie on your computer.

  • 1
    "asking for your permission" - I think most just tell you that they will do so, and you can only click "ok". – O. R. Mapper Mar 1 at 18:28
  • 2
    It's a shame no UX person was involved in drafting the legislation... – PhillipW Mar 2 at 14:27

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