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Is Google ignoring third party cookie directives?

 3:30 am on Mar 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Using Firefox: When I clear all browser cookies, uncheck accept third party cookies and visit google.com/adsense why does Google.com give my browser a youtube.com cookie as well?

Under tools/options/privacy/ I have "accept third party cookies" disabled.

From Mozilla - [support.mozilla.org...]
Third-party cookies are cookies that are set by a website other than the one you are currently on.

So with the "accept third party cookies" disabled I should not get a youtube.com cookie just by visiting google.com/adsense, correct?

Why is it happening?



 3:39 am on Mar 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

What version of FF are you using?

I wouldn't be surprised if your situation was a FF issue rather tham a Google issue.

I'm running 17.0.1 and the cookie recording is not at all reliable.

Sometimes the cookies show up in the current cookies list, sometimes they don't, sometimes they'll be listed multiple times, sometimes they don't get deleted, etc, etc, etc.


 5:23 am on Mar 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

By odd coincidence I have just noticed the identical phenomenon in a context that has nothing whatsoever to do with google.

In my case: The piwik package lives on my main site, but also tracks a second site. Browser #1 is set to "accept cookies only from sites I visit". Browser #2 is set to "block cookies from third parties and advertisers". (Browser #3 is Firefox, but so far I haven't found* the cookie prefs setting.) And yet if I go to Site B in either browser and then check cookies, I will find cookies with both sites' names on them.

It made me wonder if possibly "third-party cookie" means something different than what we think it means.

I don't see how it can have anything to do with g###, though. Cookies are at the mercy of your individual browser.

* After posting, I investigated further via the FF Help site. Answer: Selecting the "Use custom settings" History option will reveal a bunch of new clickboxes. Honestly now Firefox, do you think any human being anywhere would figure this out on their own? Grrr.


 9:51 pm on Mar 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

For Firefox I recommend installing a cookies editor add-on (I also ALWAYS include NoScript to improve my chances, even though I use Linux). I find it quite easy to set up cookie handling: first setup of FF I set, in the Privacy pane, "Do not accept 3rd party" and "ask me every time" - the latter is slightly annoying but at least I know what I'm accepting.

Since youtube is a google site I would not be surprised if G used that excuse to set G-global cookies: unethical but hey, it's big G.

Possibly similar with piwik, if the piwik package itself sets the cookie. I think advertisers get away with a similar thing IF you let them through at all.


 10:37 pm on Mar 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I gotta retract what I said about piwik. Well, half of it. Just last night I was fine-tuning a couple of Legal pages so I had to get the details hammered out.

It goes like this: My piwik installation lives at example.com and tracks visits to both example.com and example.org. Your tracking cookies-- I think it's one permanent, one session-- belong to example dot whichever-you're-currently-visiting. The supplementary do-not-track cookie belongs to example dot com.

This has the weird side effect that if you want to tell Piwik not to track you, you have to switch off your browser's third-party-cookie blocker for just a moment so the new cookie will "take". (My legal page concludes with: "You just can't win, can you?")

We won't talk about how long it took me to figure out why my newly created cookie had an expiration date in 2027 instead of the intended few months.


 9:06 pm on Mar 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Looks like there is a fault in piwik cookie management. :(

I'll just stay with manually-allowing cookies. :)

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