Eliminating Cookie Click-Thrus: A Strategy for Enhancing Digital Privacy

Author: Meg Leta Jones


Everyone hates cookie notifications, click-thrus, and pop-ups. While cookies give the web more functionality, their excessive use and attendant consent system can interfere with user experience and raises serious privacy concerns. The next administration should commit to finally resolving these and related issues by creating a digital privacy task force within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The task force would coordinate relevant agencies—including the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and Department of Commerce—in working with Congress, state actors, and European Union partners to develop meaningful data-privacy protections.

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About the Author

Meg Leta Jones is an Associate Professor in the Communication, Culture & Technology Department at Georgetown University, where she researches rules and technological change with a focus on privacy, memory, innovation, and automation in digital information and computing technologies. She is also a faculty fellow in the Georgetown Ethics Lab, core faculty member of the Science, Technology, and International Affairs program in Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, an affiliate faculty member at the Institute for Technology Law & Policy in the Georgetown Law Center, and visiting affiliate faculty at the Brussels Privacy Hub at Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Meg holds a Ph.D. in Technology, Media, and Society from the University of Colorado’s School of Engineering & Applied Sciences and a J.D. from the University of Illinois. Her research covers comparative information and communication technology law, critical internet and algorithm studies, governance of emerging technologies, and the legal history of technology. Her first book, Ctrl+Z: The Right to be Forgotten is about the social, legal, and technical issues surrounding digital oblivion. Her next book, Cookies, tells the transatlantic history of digital consent through a familiar technical object. More details about her work can be found at her at research site iSPYLab.net.