Internet marketing firm United Virtualities has launched a solution to prevent web users permanently deleting cookies on their machines.
The trend toward user deletion of cookies, driven by security fears and privacy concerns, has led to rising panic among web advertisers and marketers, who are finding it increasingly difficult to track internet users’ behaviour.
Cookies allow them to do just that by installing tiny programs on users’ machines when they visit sites. But a survey by Jupiter Research last month found that almost 60% of surfers have deleted cookies and that almost 40% delete all cookies on their machine once a month.
Now United Virtualities has launched a backup ID system for cookies called Persistent Identification Element (Pie).
Pie tags the user's browser with a unique ID, which cannot be deleted by any commercial anti-spyware or adware program, according to United Virtualities.
Mookie Tenembaum, United Virtualities founder, said, "Cookies are an essential part of any online ad campaign. Pie will give publishers and third-party providers a persistent back-up to cookies, effectively rendering them unassailable."
There are two types of Pie systems. AccuCounter Pie is a cookie replacement that counts unique users accurately. Backup Pie not only counts unique users but also recognises the visitor and restores any erased cookies.
Pie’s launch will inevitably cause a furore among a large number of internet users and privacy advocates.