The CIA had to stop using a comparatively innocent log-analysis cookie that expired in 10 years, and their document search site isn't even used by
many people. Google handles 200 million searches per day, and their cookie expires in 2038. One of Google's leading software engineers, Matt Cutts,
merely laugh off anyone who inquires about it. The purpose of the unique ID is to record your search terms for present or future profiling. Google
says that the cookie is needed to set preferences. At the CIA, Google's cookie story would be termed a cover story, because the unique ID is
completely superfluous for this function, even when the rest of the cookie is used to do this. In fact, you can set preferences without any sort of
cookie at all.
To set Google preferences -
and still disable Googles' cookies, perform these nine steps in this order:
1. Enable cookies if they are turned off.
2. Go to www.google.com...
3. Click on "Preferences" on the right side of the search box.
4. Set your preferences and click "Save Preferences." You're back to the search box.
5. Click on "Advanced Search" on the right side of the search box.
6. Do not fill out anything, but just click on "Google Search."
Update: Place a single space in the main search box and click on "Google Search."
7. Bookmark this new search page.
8. Disable your cookies for Google.
Explorer 6.0 Tools — Internet Options — Privacy — Edit (near the bottom) — type in google.com — Block — OK — OK
Firefox 1.0 Tools — Options — Privacy — Stored cookies — highlight your google.com cookie — check Don't allow... box at bottom —
Remove cookie — OK — OK
Opera 7.51 Tools — Cookies — highlight your google.com cookie — Delete — New — type in google.com — check Apply... — uncheck 3
Accept... — OK — Close
Netscape 7.1 Tools — Cookie Manager — Manage Stored Cookies — highlight your google.com cookie — check Don't allow... box at bottom —
Remove cookie — Close
9. Test your cookie block: Exit and reload your browser — go to www.google.com — click Preferences on the right side of the search box —
Google should tell you that your cookies seem to be disabled
Now when you use your new bookmark for Google searches, your preferences are passed to Google in the URL, without a cookie. And with cookies disabled,
Google won't be able to associate your search terms with the unique ID number that they use in their cookie. This is so wonderful that we think
to track you, and not to set preferences. But you knew that already, didn't you?
[edit on 21-3-2006 by Arostotle]