In this website it says:

A server cannot set a cookie for a domain that it is not a member of. In spite of this, users quite often find in their computer files cookies from web sites that they have never visited. These cookies are usually set by companies that sell internet advertising on behalf of other web sites. Therefore it may be possible that users' information is passed to third party web sites without the users' knowledge or consent, such as information on surfing habits. This is the most common reason for people rejecting or fearing cookies.

I have a question about the cookies I couldn't find the answer for. can cookies be set to connect to their creator's domain on their own? I mean like when the user only connected to the Internet and not necessarily is using the browser?

Or, can they automatically make contact to their domain when user is using the browser but not visiting that website or any other ad-based website?

  • From the link in your question "A cookie is a piece of information in the form of a very small text file that is placed on an internet user's hard drive. It is generated by a web page server, which is basically the computer that operates a web site. The information the cookie contains is set by the server and it can be used by that server whenever the user visits the site. A cookie can be thought of as an internet user's identification card, which tell a web site when the user has returned." – DavidPostill Sep 27 '15 at 17:59
  • Cookies don't connect to anything. If you don't have a web browser open they don't do anything. – DavidPostill Sep 27 '15 at 18:01
  • Cookies can be read or written. that is the extent of their applicability. – Frank Thomas Sep 27 '15 at 18:04
  • Okay so can they connect to their owner's domain when the browser is open but the user is visiting a completely different website? – John Sep 27 '15 at 18:09
  • No. Cookies cannot connect to anything. Some piece of software may connect to a site, and read/write cookies with the same request-origin as the site, but the cookie isn't doing anything. it is the browser software that is doing everything. a cookie just stores variables that the site owner wants you to store client side, like user preferences, session IDs, etc. Cookies are too dumb to do anything, except hold data for software to use. They have no code, they are just data. what you are saying is akin to "can my address go to the post office and pick up my mail for me"? – Frank Thomas Sep 27 '15 at 18:12

A cookie can only exist in a web browser (or a kitchen cupboard!) - it is something specific to the HTTP (Web) Protocol.

A cookie can't reach out and contact anything. It is not code, it is data !

A cookie is a piece of information that a web server asks your web browser to take - and to then "give back" each time you look at a page on that site. Without it its hard for a server to know who it is communicating with when going between pages.

When you go to a website, it may imbed connections to other websites. Those websites might set cookies of there own - so, if for example a site has a facebook link which gets an image off Facebooks site, Facebook might set a cookie on your machine. if you then go to another site, Facebook can then track your usage across the Internet wherever another page has a Facebook image.

  • Ads used to be third-party cookies but not anymore, you aren't safe with them even if you disable accepting third-party cookies. because Facebook and Google has purchased two biggest web-ad companies such as doubleclick so they are now part of their own companies, I.e they are first-party cookies now. – Conspiria Sep 28 '15 at 8:21
  • 1
    by definition, a Third Party cookie is a cookie associated with a domain-origin that is not that of the site reflected in the address bar. DoubleClick.com is still a 3rd party cookie, as is googleadservices.com, but you are right, these companies do attempt to leverage their position as content/service providers in their advertising processes. – Frank Thomas Sep 28 '15 at 11:49

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