I was browsing and suddenly my browser told me that blocked tracking cookies. (Of course some time before I was told that from now on it is able to do so.)

I wonder if it is truly legal to block third party tracking cookies on sites using tool let say en masse.

Usually any website provide option to give consent with storing cookies and I believe although I didn’t go through all the description notes that such announcement had third party cookies consent was noted by them.

It seems to me it is not fully legal. Or it starts to be illlegal when the site clearly declares that using cookies is part of their using agreement? Where is the boundary between the cases? Should I rely on browsers manufacturer law awareness?

  • 2
    Which jurisdiction? EU? I'm confident that enforcing your rights under the EU ePrivacy directive through the use of browser-based tracking blockers is entirely legal, and would supersede most contracts that would require you to allow cookies (compare GDPR Art 7 for the definition of consent, which must be freely given). However, there's an argument that ad blockers (that manipulate websites rather than blocking cookies) could be a kind of copyright infringement.
    – amon
    Oct 23, 2019 at 5:14
  • Yes, yes. I reside in EU.
    – Yarl
    Oct 23, 2019 at 7:38

1 Answer 1


You can do anything you want with cookies

Because they are residing on your own data processing equipment, using resources on that equipment, which belongs to you; and the company has not signed a contract nor paid a consideration for those services and resources.

I for one wipe ALL my cookies at intervals of my choice.

You are also allowed to hop browsers

You are allowed to switch from Chrome to Firefox, from PC 1 to PC 2 to Android to iPad. If you were legally obliged to support their tracking cookies, then you would be legally obliged to transport those cookies across each browser, box and platform.

They have other recourses for that

Even if they wanted to legally oblige you to identify in a unique manner as a condition of (what? Providing content?) , they already have technical means at their disposal to do so, such as require sign-in.

Further, this method allows them to deal with the inadvertent "multiple cookie" issue. The sign-in system allows them to present a Terms of Service in the signup phase, which gives them legal teeth to actively outlaw multiple identities under the guise of forbidding sockpuppets.

When an obvious, gold-standard method exists, courts are reluctant to enforce awkward alternate methods which create a lot of new legal issues.

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