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How Cookie Banners Backfired

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In practice, the proliferation of cookie banners has both numbed people to their purpose and given companies yet another way to manipulate users.

Credit: Mike Segar/Reuters

From Washington to Brussels, policy folks are focused on digital privacy. Just this week, three states and the District of Columbia filed a series of lawsuits against Google, accusing it of violating consumers' privacy rights. Dozens of bills have been introduced in Congress to force companies to develop digital tools that help users manage their privacy. And companies spend billions of dollars to comply with — or skirt — the labyrinth of complex privacy laws that already exist.

It just so happens that this week is known as Data Privacy Week.

But there's an inconvenient truth about all the effort that has gone into creating and enforcing digital privacy safeguards: When it comes to the most extensive Internet privacy rule yet, the public doesn't seem to care — or, more accurately, it doesn't seem to have the knowledge or tools to effectively benefit.

From The New York Times
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