An Important Update

Dear Followers Of This Blog ...

If you did not use a Blogger / Google account when you Followed this blog, years ago, you are probably not Following now . During the past...

Friday, March 06, 2015

Use Of "Third Party" Cookies Is Not The Problem

The controversy over "third party" cookies, and filtering, continues daily.

Today, a blog owner suggests that solving the problem of inability to comment, by "requiring" each reader to un filter "third party" cookies, is unacceptable - because each reader has to take action, to solve the problem.

Another blog owner, asking why Blogger won't ignore his pageviews when visiting his blog, takes only a couple hours to read and to diagnose the problem, then dismisses the advice

That didn't really help.

Both blog owners are ignoring the actual problem.

Blogger did not create a requirement called "third party cookies". Blogger, like Google, and like most Internet services, use cookies to retain information, from each of us, as we use Blogger.

When you use your favourite website some time, for more than just viewing, look at what you are doing.

When you use Blogger, you enter data on one screen, and use it from another.

You enter data - maybe login, maybe compose a post - on one screen. You press "Enter" ("Publish", what have you), and you see another screen.

How does the information get read on one screen, then displayed, on another screen? You're using HTTP (HTTPS, what have you), to communicate with the server - and HTTP et al is a connectionless protocol. Nothing is stored on the server (so many servers, worldwide), to identify you from screen to screen.

There are two ways to identify you, from screen to screen.

There are two ways of identifying you, from screen to screen.

  • Cookie.
  • URL in stream values.

Take a look at the latter solution, first. I'm editing this post - and here is the URL that's used, by the post editor.

https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=24069595#editor/target=post;postID=7677866552420604366;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=link
What you see there is what is passed, from one screen to another. It tells what I'm doing ("blogger.g"), what blog ("24069595") and post ("7677866552420604366") I'm working on, and what context I'm in ("allposts" , or "The Real Blogger Status · Posts › All"). All of this is public details, I don't mind showing this much.

But there is secure content, that only I can use (through my browser) - that is private to me. That content is stored on my computer, as tiny encrypted files, called "cookies". Why such a cute name, for such a serious detail?

Private details - such as my account name / email address, when I logged in to Blogger, maybe my IP address or hardware address - are stored in cookies.

Look at the URLs, in the address windows, when you use Blogger.

I login to Google, using a display that runs from "google.com". The next time you login, look at the address in the browser window. You'll probably see the same.

I use the Blogger dashboard from "blogger.com". You'll do the same, when you maintain and publish your blog.

I view this blog, as "blogging.nitecruzr.net". Since you are reading this, you are doing the same. 5 years ago, you might have viewed this blog as "bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.com" (from many countries, such as USA).

Outside the USA, you may have viewed this blog as "bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.co.uk" (in the UK), "bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.fr" (in France), "bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.th" (in Thailand) - or any of several dozen other different countries worldwide, each with a complemntary alias.

Where am I going with this?

  • "google.com"
  • "blogger.com"
  • "blogging.nitecruzr.net"
  • "bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.com"
  • "bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.co.uk"
  • "bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.fr"
  • "bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.th"

These are all different domains. A cookie, created under any one domain, and read under another domain, is called a third party cookie.

You have to trust Blogger and Google, to use their services effectively.

If you are going to use Blogger, you have to trust Blogger, and Google. That includes trusting any Google domain - and allow them to create and read cookies, between domains.

And allowing Google to create and read cookies, between domains, requires that you - and your readers - allow third party cookies. This is not the same as clearing cookies.

  • Login to Google.
  • Access your favourite blog, behind a Content Warning.
  • Post a comment, on your favourite blog.
  • View your blog, without having Stats count your visits.
  • Edit a post, in your blog.
  • Preview a post, in your blog
  • Preview the template, in your blog.

All of these activities - and more - require that the Blogger script, that you (your reader) run, reads a cookie created in another domain. That is a third party cookie.

Third party cookies are not a devious plot, to violate your privacy.

Third party cookies are not an evil plot, by Google - nor should they require disclosure, in a formal banner. Even though they do, in Europe.

Third party cookies are simply a way of letting you use the many Google services - without endangering your security, by retaining massive amounts of session content in the URL, as you use multiple displays. When you (or a reader) have a problem using or viewing your blog (or Blogger), one of the simplest things to do is to check / correct cookie filters.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

stitch quilt knit said...

Thank you so much for all the info. I managed to fix it and now I can leave messages for other quilty bloggers :))