Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday suggestion: Better cookie management for future browsers?

Good morning, it's Monday! I know I've been away for a week (or more) so first, let me apologise, because things have been really busy between work and church (upcoming Song Festival 6!) so I have had nary a chance to blog, much less draw comics.

Cookie image taken from: http://trashmenagerie.com/images/CCC/Cookie.jpg

Coming back to the topic of this post; I was fiddling with browser settings on my Eee PC when it hit me that I could no longer turn off the "block ALL cookies" option with the impunity I had 10 years ago. Yes, we all know that cookies (not the pastry kind) can do all kinds of awesome stuff like track all your activity on the internet, and leave you open to hackery and password-theft. But we've also come to be reliant on cookies to help us get past signing in to 20 different services everytime we log on.

So on one hand, I'm struggling with leaving it on to protect my privacy, and on the other, I'm missing the convenience. Dont' tell me about 'exceptions' because with the various cookies from each site (take yahoo.com, for example) making the domain an exception will allow both a tracking cookie and one that lets you save your login.

What we need is (and I'm just suggesting this with totally no programmer nous at all) a better way of managing cookies.

Let's start with categories of cookies -we could tag each cookie as "password-remembering". "auto-login", "track all the sites I've been to" or "session-authenticating". This then allows us to setup filters where in my browser I could then say: "yeah, I'd like to have my passwords remembered at all these sites, but i don't want any tracking cookies on my computer." Simply deselecting the categories of cookies enabled will let us get the kind of behaviour we want from our web-browsing experience.

Of course, we could then add exceptions to sites - like I only want password-remembering on Blogger, Flickr, Ovi, Technorati, Digg and Delicious.

And maybe throw-in a nice GUI in the process.


Yuen-Chi Lian said...

Whether you have cookies enabled or not, as soon as your computer is compromised, nothing shall be considered safe.

There's no standard on how cookies should be stored and used, it's all up to how the programmers implement it. Certainly, those implementation details are not the interest of most users.


Anonymous said...

Someone gotta define some standards, that's what I mean.


davidlian said...

YC: "Someone gotta define some standards." Exactly. I think cookies have been around so long, it's time to start thinking how we can manage them with both privacy regulations, and tools in browsers to give consumers more control over what they want to give out.

suanie said...

on a cookie related note, mrs field USA is filing for bankruptcy