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Our Policy & Facts About Cookies More Facts About Cookies

7) Our policy in a nutshell: with few exceptions (which would be posted prominently on the appropriate page), users who reject cookies will not be granted privileges to add to, modify or delete content on this website.

Once again, this only applies to "user interactive" pages that the user has a potential for modifying and updating, such as a database, CHAT, or bulletin board forum. This page, and most site pages, are not "interactive" and don't use cookies.

Please read the following for more details about what cookies are, how and why they are used, and the policy on cookie usage and acceptance.

Initially, we plan to offer database services on this site. The current database you might be working with may or may not require "cookies" for full access privileges. Why? We may want to create a database where entries are only viewable by the person who entered them, or by a small group of people sharing common privileges, such as a club.

On the other hand, most public-record databases, such as a quotations collection, or a catalog of photo images, probably would not offer more than inquiry privileges to any user, so "cookies" or passwords would make little sense.

A "cookie" is a very small, harmless text file placed in your cookies folder by your browser (never by a website or server). Typically, it might contain a first name or other user name, preference settings the user likes when the page is visited, and a unique ID number belonging, perhaps, to a shopping cart or database entry created by the user.

How do we know cookies are "harmless"? As far as we know, for technical reasons beyond the scope of this posting, there is no way for a text file to be harmful by itself, because it is not an executable program. A text file, by itself, cannot replicate itself (like a virus), interact with other files that may be present on your computer, or directly transmit information about itself, the host machine, or the machine's users. A cookie is designed to be received by your web page browser, or sent by your browser back to a web page in response to a request, to confirm that you are continuing a transaction or relationship that you previously established with the web page server.

The problem privacy advocates may have with cookies is that there is no way to guarantee the safety of sending or accepting a cookie. There is no easy way to know exactly how much information a cookie contains.

There is no way to control how a site might use or share whatever information it might be able to gather and collate from "cookies". As we've read, there's a potential for abuse. will never "share" such information. If you're id # 970000001, and you prefer pages with an Ivory colored background, we just don't care, but we won't tell anybody else, either.

Privacy 1: Unless your browser has been instructed to reject cookies, the typical user will find hundreds of cookies in the Windows cookies folder, or Mac Preferences folder. They are plain text files, and you can look at them to see most of what they contain.

A cookie from in my cookies folder will have a name something like this:

alexander l. forbes@www.summitlake[2].txt.

The cookie name consists of (2) the site name or domain being visited, and (1) the user name as known to your local machine. I list these backwards because you would be more concerned about any use whatsoever of your name. Your name is local to your machine and your browser, and should never be sent by a cookie.

My cookie is named with my "machine name", but it sent 'name Alex Forbes' just because that is the name I gave to the HTML form page that created the cookie. If I'd given the name "anonymous", that's the name that would have been sent.

Neither Internet Explorer nor Netscape will send the local machine owner name back to a web site. This protects our privacy, yet gives rise to the need for cookies and unique ID's to manage information flow at the site.

Privacy 2: Internet Service Providers (your ISP's) are more cautious than ever about transmitting identifying information about their users. For example, my ISP only transmits the fact that my page request came from my domain name, and that the server administrator is (me). It also shows that I sent a cookie bearing the name Alex Forbes, since that is the name I entered when accepting the cookie. So far as we know, a cookie will never send your name unless you intentionally supply it.


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