Third Party Cookies

Third party cookies are cookies that have been written on to your device by a web site that is different from the web site you are actually visiting. The word “party” helps clarify this idea as it refers to the actual domain or web site that places the cookie onto your device.

Third Party Cookie Example

If you were to visit and a cookie was written onto your device the domain of that cookie would be “”. This is what we would call a First Party Cookie as the cookie was created by and belongs to the web site you visited. Now lets consider visiting the same web site but this time it creates a third party cookie. You visit and the cookie placed onto your device now shows the domain of “”. This is a third party cookie as the cookie created belongs to a different web site from the one you visited.

How are Third Party Cookies created

A third party cookie can be created if the web page you are opening loads any content from another web site/domain. By simply having an a piece of content such as an advert from another site loaded on the web page you are viewing, you are granting permission for that other site to create its cookie on your device.

Who uses Third Party Cookies

Some advertisers use third party cookies to track your visits to the various websites on which they advertise. Most major websites track their visitors’ behavior and then sell or provide that information to other companies (like advertisers). Tracking is a term that includes many different methods that websites, advertisers and others use to learn about your web browsing behavior. This includes information about what sites you visit, things you like, dislike and purchase. They often use this information to show ads, products or services specifically targeted to you.

How do Third Party Cookies work

You visit domain, the web pages on that domain may feature content from a third party domain. For instance, there may be an advertisement run by showing graphic advert banners. When your web browser asks for the banner image from, that third party domain is allowed to set a cookie. Each domain can only read the cookie it created, so there should be no way of reading the cookie created by So what’s the problem?

Some people don’t like third party cookies for the following reason. Suppose that the majority of sites on the internet have banner adverts from Now it’s possible for the advertiser to use its third party cookie to identify you as you move from one site with its adverts to another site with its adverts.

Even though the advertiser from may not know your name, it can use the random ID number in the cookie to build up an anonymous profile of the sites you visit. Then, when it spots the unique ID in the third party cookie, it can say to itself: “visitor 3E7ETW278UT regularly visits a music site, so show him/her adverts about music and music products”.

Privacy Risk

A recent survey in the USA found 84% of people outraged by the idea of advertising companies building up profiles about their browsing habits, even if in some cases the profile might be anonymous? Reports and research on the subject of website tracking tell us that the rejection of third party cookies is growing. Increasing numbers of people are trying to stop and block these third party cookies, or trying to delete their cookies regularly.


Blocking Third Party Cookies through Browser Privacy Settings

Privacy setting options in most modern browsers allow you to block third-party tracking cookies.



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