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A few moments' thought makes it clear that the only such cookie left by 2038 will be in a computer on display in the Smithsonian Museum, but it was apparently sexier to say this than to simply call them non-expiring cookies.
If that is the case then this is no privacy improvement at all - I'm not likely to not use any Google service over a period of two years!
I have never used a PC for more than 2 years. So cookies expire after 2 years any way.
Agreed, it's almost phenomenal to get a pc to run effectively that long without having to format. I brag to my friends that I can usually milk an OS over the year mark and rarely can I cross the 2 year mark, and I usually buy a new one by 2nd year anyway.
I had no idea that Google's cookies were set to last 38 years. From what I understood based on my use of commission junction I figured the lifespan of cookies were in the few months range at most. Couldn't Google track all the activity of your IP address with or without cookies anyway? Meaning the only way you could actually hide your activities would be to block cookies AND use an IP that lots of other computers are using such as work or hide behind proxies (also blocking cookies?)
For now I'll continue zapping the cookie as well as surfing with TOR to anonymise my IP address.