Third party cookies are records in text form, which are stored on the User’s Browser or computer when they visit a Website. When that website is revisited, this data can be read by the provider of the third party cookies. In contrast to regular cookies or first party cookies, which are usually used by the webmasters themselves, such cookies are placed by advertisers, in other words, third parties who place their cookies on other websites, in order to collect various, often advertising-relevant information about users.
Third party cookies are used in particular to create a log that provides the third party with a variety of information, including: What websites has the user visited? What internal links did they click, what path did they take? Which pages did the user view and for how long?
This data is stored in a specific format. All cookies consist of assignments of names and values. Depending on the standard, URLs, paths, Domain Names and much more can be stored. Using this data, a user profile can be created to conceive future advertising.
The integration of third party cookies is simpler than conventional cookies. No code needs to be used on the website itself, on which third party cookies are integrated. Instead, an ad is integrated on the website, which is located on the AdServer of the third-party provider. Let’s assume a user visits www.example.com and there is an ad from a third party. If the user now visits a second website www.example01.de, where an ad is also stored by the same third-party provider, he can now trace (track) the user’s path.
The collection of user-related data using third party cookies is subject to criticism. Each website can monitor user behavior with their own first party cookies and link this data with the customer data, for example to send tailor-made advertising emails. In addition to that, third party cookies can be used to track what other websites the user visits. Data protectors complain about the lack of anonymity of such tracking models and fear that customer data will be misused. For advertisers, however, such models are helpful to display personalized ads.