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CookiePanel lets you see the cookies that are coming into your computer in real-time. Everytime a web site puts a cookie on your computer, you will be able to see it in the sidebar. The goal is to give you a better idea of which sites are tracking you and how. That way, you can make more informed decisions about which sites to visit or avoid and how you want to set up your privacy options. The panel is set up to make it easy to understand and easy to see which cookies might affect your privacy online.

The CookiePanel also gives you some tools to act on what you learn. You can block or enable cookies, delete cookies (or whole groups of cookies), and get more information on individual cookies, all from the sidebar.

This project started as part of an academic research project at the University of Washington, led by Batya Friedman of the School of Information. The objective was to look for ways to support informed consent in online interactions. Often, people are subject to privacy compromises when working online without a clear way to opt out or even an adequate understanding of how information is being collected or used. This project, in its earlier stages, used techniques from Value Sensitive Design to address the problem with respect to browser cookies. The extension has gone through many versions, aiming to make users aware of the cookies that are being used in an unintrusive way, while providing opportunities to learn more about cookies and mechanisms for deleting or blocking cookies.

Here are links to a couple of the research papers related to earlier versions of this project.

The cookiepanel project can be contacted through the mailing list or the member list.
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