Microsoft-Super-Cookie

Privacy has never been guaranteed on the Web, and as more services become even more intertwined with one another, so do the technologies behind them. Google has already made plans to create a cookie that can be used across its various services, and it looks like Microsoft has decided to take the same route.  The super cookie is a way to integrate all sorts of history, data, and information about a personal and tailor other services and sites to you.

Microsoft, however, is looking to completely replace cookie technology and come up with a sort of super cookie. The super cookie may be the next stage in the evolution of consumer data, privacy and personal information on the Web.  While many users may not want Microsoft, Google, or any other Internet giant to collect and share data this way, let’s face it: This is the future of our beloved Internet.  Let’s see what Microsoft wants to turn the super cookie into for users and how this may effect you in the near future.

What is a Super Cookie?

A super cookie, essentially, would allow a company – in this case Microsoft – to gather information about you when you log into a single service, say Outlook.com. From there, when you use your Outlook.com e-mail address to log in to Xbox Live, it’ll be able to take information stored in the Outlook.com cookie and apply that information to targeted content, ads and more within Xbox Live.  This is a super profile, in essence, with everything from your personal information to browsing history to gaming history to what you listen to music-wise and more.  This is a great picture of who you are on and offline.

Ideally, Microsoft wants to shy away from the stigma associated with the cookie and data privacy on the Web. They want to own the information they collect which will keep it more secure and keep it out of the hands of third parties and marketers. This could make the super cookie even more super and dependable in the eyes of consumers using Microsoft products. Microsoft likens its super cookie concept to more of a complete database of a consumer using various services and products within its line.

Are Super Cookies Necessary?

As digital services and real world products become increasingly more connected as technology evolves, something will need to come along to replace the cookie. Whether it’s a digital profile, like Microsoft wants to create, or another evolution of the cookie itself, something will need to have the speed, accuracy and technology to keep up with an interconnected mobile world.

Since the cookie as we know it is dying thanks to cookie-less mobile devices, something has to replace it in the way of advertising. While Microsoft has admitted it will use its super cookie once developed as a marketing tool, other companies that rely on mobile advertising will also need to find a way to compete with increasingly smarter devices. Super cookies could be one such way to do that.

Protecting Your Privacy Online

Cookies are often at the front of the battle for privacy online.  Most websites, if not all, online collect some form of data on users that visit.  If you’re not sure what a website is collecting on you, check out their terms of use or privacy policy.  If they don’t have either, you may want to contact the website and ask about it.  You should always know what type of data is being collected and potentially shared when surfing the Web.

TechNorms wrote a series of guides on securing your browsers and protecting your privacy in 10 minutes or less.  Check them out:

Conclusion

There’s no telling when Microsoft will develop and deploy the technology needed to create the next generation cookie. There’s also no telling if Google will beat them to the punch. In the meantime, you just have to deal with the everyday cookie when using the Web, playing games online and utilizing your favorite services.

Will the super cookie from Microsoft every see the light of day? Chances are, it will, and what form will it be in? Only Microsoft knows.

Check out our Privacy Archive to know all the tools and services you can use to keep your information secure.