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    On my first reading of this headline I was wondering which cookies Avast had acquired, and how that is even technically possible to do.

    It’s the “I Don’t Care About Cookies” extension that has acquired by Avast. Though it sounds like mostly an acquihire, as he talks about working on other products for them.

    FWIW, I’ve never used this extension because I feel like it is dangerous to go randomly accepting T&Cs (which is what the cookies popups actually are) in a browser window where that might get linked to one of my accounts. It’s not uncommon for the wording to say not only do you accept cookies, but you fully agree with the privacy policy.

    If it’s a site I’m going to come back to, I am definitely making sure I click on the correct button for “no I don’t agree to your random and otherwise not-enforceable nonsense that I don’t have time to read”.

    I now tend to open most untrusted websites (such as links from orange or blue websites) in incognito mode, click on the most obvious “go away” link and close the window later, safe in the knowledge that I didn’t really agree to anything binding. I’d be reasonably happy with an extension set to incognito mode only, to save that click, but I’m pretty sure only the other way around is currently possible.

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      I’ve never used this extension because I feel like it is dangerous to go randomly accepting T&Cs (which is what the cookies popups actually are) in a browser window where that might get linked to one of my accounts.

      Plus like … why accept the cookies if you can decline them? The whole premise is nonsensical.

      Suggested replacement: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/consent-o-matic/

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        Yes, that seems much better designed, since it lets you set your preferences in simple categories and then applies those choices everywhere - which is how compliance with the law should have been implemented in the first place.

        Thanks for the suggestion, I’ve installed it to try it out. The only thing I can’t see is a way to override these preferences for a specific site if needed.

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          I go a very different route.

          I block the consent banners & popups where I can with uBlock origin. Get out of my way, I don’t want you to solicit me.

          I then use cookie autodelete to delete cookies for a site after I close its tabs. This is a bit like telling the browser to block cookies and localstorage completely, but websites that (pretend to) break still keep working.

          This isn’t perfect. Youtube still has ways of tracking and remembering me (at least according to the suggested videos) but of course deleting cookies does make it forget that I turn off autoplay. Quite an interesting perspective on their priorities and methods.

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            The point of things like consent-o-magic isn’t to prevent tracking, it’s to prevent dark UI patterns from getting user consent before tracking. The goal is to ensure that companies like Google and Facebook are definitely in violation of the letter of the law, not just doing things that their users don’t understand and would hate if they did, so that information commissioners can collect the evidence that they need to impose the 5% of annual turnover fines that the GDPR permits.

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              Yeah, this is the way to go — uBlock Origin + EasyList Cookie blocks the obnoxious dialogs, and Cookie Auto-Delete cleans up the mess. Sadly the latter isn’t available on Android, though.

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                When using uBlock Origin + EasyList Cookie, I am often left with a website with a backdrop and not allowing scrolling. This can be fixed with the inspector tool, but I am wondering if I am missing something.

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                  I had that issue only once, on a site that was completely broken with any ad blocker. I expect the answer is yes, but do you have uBlock’s cosmetic filters enabled?

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          I don’t love the idea that Avast, whose plugin was flagged for collecting too much data, is buying a plugin that needs access to a ton of data in my browser including:

          • Display notifications to you
          • Access browser tabs
          • Access browser activity during navigation
          • Access your data for all websites