Security expert Robert Siciliano does an interview with Fox News where he just makes up stuff about cookies being able to track all your online behavior. By the way, he calls himself an “identity theft expert”. Best quotes:

“These types of cookies, they actually track the computer user’s behaviours, what they like, what they dislike, what they buy, websites they visit. These types of cookies can record usernames and passwords [...].”

“Cookies’ closest cousin is spyware. Cookies aren’t spyware, but they are very close.”

Cookies don’t do any of that. They can just store a small piece of text in your browser that identifies you when you are on that website. It serves for remembering passwords and stuff like that, and it certaintly can’t spy on you.

  1. bobbo, quibbling is for losers says:

    #76–qb–you can imagine killer bunnies with chainsaws? I can’t. But then my days are not filled by watching and believing the Cartoon Channel.

    Sorry to have used a colloquialism you could quibble with.


  2. qb says:

    #81 And the real world is simple. ;-)

  3. bobbo, I really hate to say this but says:

    It depends on how you define simple.

  4. FRAGaLOT says:

    Doesn’t use cookies?

  5. pedro says:

    #83 Yes, but they use faux cookies ;)

  6. Timuchin says:

    That’s it! Try to rally the liberals and leftists by getting them to hate the same target. You need the unity to restore Democratic party cohesion. Otherwise they will hate each other and destroy the Democratic party.

    Is the Democratic party a hate group?

  7. J says:

    #80 Sai Kai Lee

    They can only track you on sites that they have trackers on. They can not track you if you go to a site that doesn’t have their stuff. Site A can’t track you to Site B unless Site B is using the same tracking cookies.

  8. Rick Cain says:

    All these advanced cookie tracking methods can easily be bypassed by the wearing of a tinfoil hat.

    Works for republicans, it can work for you too.

  9. This Siciliano character is me:).

    johnhattan said, I just twittered that this Siciliano guy is an asshat with no credentials, and he started @replying me back defending himself, claiming that his statement is putting things in “perspective” for the masses. JCD, you have GOT to invite this guy on your show. He’d be a bigger train-wreck than that kid who walked around with a webcam taped to his head.

    John, a mans words in a public forum make up the base of his character. You certainly have character.

    Its obvious in this post that the originator of the post took much of what what said out of context only to spark a Perez Hilton like assault. You should be proud of such a profound rag with journalistic integrity. Those who actually watched the clip and understood its premise thoughtfully and correctly fleshed out the actual meaning of it and made sense.

    First, Ive never claimed to be anything I’m not. I know more than 90 percent of what the the masses know and less than 10 percent of what the experts know. My game is personal security as it relates to violence and identity theft prevention. And before you all go demonizing a simple 3 minute talk, I was being objective. I was helping the commentator sort this out. I was talking about what privacy advocates fear, not myself. I’m no privacy advocate. Requests to appear in front of a nationwide audience of non-techies generally requires to the commentator to associate an unknown with a known. Most people dont speak the tech language and need something to associate with. I specifically said that cookies aren’t spyware. “They are spywares closest cousin.” Which is what privacy advocates fear. Not me. It may have satisfied you all a bit more if I said spywares 10th cousin, but when you are in this environment and the clock is ticking, sometimes one forgets all their talking points or things don’t always come out exactly correct. So forgive me, forgive my offspring, and forgive the non techies for not knowing what you know.

    Further..I made an analogy that provides perspective to an audience that otherwise has none, pointing out what “privacy advocates fear”. I could give a crap that cookies are in govt websites. I love cookies. Makes my life a lot easier. And their yummy. The ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are the ones freaking out and maybe suing, not me. I was explaining their concerns, not mine.

    Thanks for this post, thanks for setting the record straight and thanks for keeping me and everyone else honest.

    Feel free to subscribe to my blog, follow me on Twitter and continually pick me apart like the National Enquirer does every public figure. I promise to give you something to bitch about.

    Robert Siciliano CEO

  10. Steve R. says:

    The Fox news “interview” was nothing more than a hysterical red-herring concerning the potential for government intervention. It amazes me how Fox news whines about the the government invading your privacy but then is totally silent on private corporations that invade your privacy.

    If our nation is based on equality before the law, private industry should be condemned for its inappropriate actions too. Cookies, no matter where they are left, can be used to track our actions on the internet.

  11. b. brooklyn says:

    I’m not a cookie expert by any means. But that fact that it is so easy to track what a person is doing or has done online these days is kind of scary. I’d like to hear it from people who are confirmed government website experts. You can’t believe everything you read.