how to win the cookie wars

You might think you know everything you need to know about “cookies,” but have you ever thought about what it would take to make them work for consumers rather than advertisers?

In the simplest terms, cookies are tiny pieces of information that enable websites to remember something about a web browser. Some people think that cookies are evil, though the adverting industry wants you to think of them more like a friendly waitress that knows what you want.  Some people just hate advertising and want to block anything that enables any kind of ad.

At Bynamite, we don’t hate advertising – we just think that much of the Internet has become a giant battleground over consumer data, and the consumers have no voice in this war.  We have watched advertisers, websites, and marketplaces battle over the cookie, each one claiming that they own the data and should get the economic benefit from that data.  But whose data is this, doesn’t it really all come from the consumers? What would have to happen to make the Internet treat consumers as the true masters of their own information?

We don’t think the answer is to hide from advertisers.  Millions of people use tools like AdBlock, NoScript, BetterPrivacy, Ghostery and TACO to prevent seeing online ads and block advertisers from personalizing ads. We think these are great tools, but they are only playing defense in a battle that requires offense to win.

Consumers can only compete by uniting in a give-and-take with the advertising world.  So you have cookies? Use them for you, not just for what they want.  Bynamite uses cookies and tracks online purchases, but does so in a way that gives you more control over the information that advertisers have about you.  We only work with advertising systems that give consumers transparency and control, and we opt you out of over a hundred systems that don’t allow you to easily see and change the information that they have about you.  We’re trying to make a fair trade that will bring some balance to the Internet advertising world, so that consumer interests are at least as powerful as advertiser decisions.

We’re interested in changing the landscape for everyone, not just for sophisticated users who manage their cookies and install blocking tools.  The more people who use Bynamite, the more advertisers will want to change their systems to give consumers more transparency and control – and even people who don’t use Bynamite will benefit from that.
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