What Happened to Google's Infamous Cookie?

Posted on Mar 15, 2007

All services provided by Google use a domain cookie to track your use of their services across their site. This meant they could potentially be tying your search history to keywords in your email or the blogs you have on Blogger. Many feared that Google could be the ultimate threat to privacy; especially given its history to bending over for government goons.

However, an announcement by the big “G” today stated that they would be flushing that data every 18 months or so. Does that mean the privacy groups have been right to believe Google has been correlating data on its users all along? The FAQ also mentions changes to “cookie anonymization” to help protect users; but it doesn’t give specifics.

Either way, I noticed something weird about my Google services today. Usually I block the Google cookie from my computer; allowing it only temporarily for the select services I do happen to use. Once I am finished a session, I immediately delete all session and domain cookies and block the Google cookie again. Today however, after signing out of my account the expected “1 domain cookie has been deleted” was actually zero. I had to do a double-take — did that mean what I think it means?

Has Google ousted its famous domain cookie or has it found a clever way to hide it with the session cookies?