How to Find the Origin of Your Website Cookies

 

Most data privacy laws hold website owners accountable for what technologies are used on their site, what data is being collected, and how each technology got there. Up until now, ObservePoint has been the foremost expert on gaining detailed insight into all the cookies & tags on a site, as well as what they are collecting. But, the last piece of the puzzle was left unfinished, no matter what platform you’re using to manage your site. No one, not even ObservePoint, had the clear and consistent answer to cookie origins… until now.

We are thrilled to announce the latest patent-pending feature available now to all ObservePoint users: Cookie Initiators & Origin Stories. 

screenshot from ObservePoint's webscanner showing a cookie origin story

In order to remove or change a cookie, you have to know where and how it was originally set. This means if for some reason you find a cookie that is misbehaving (aka, creating a privacy or security concern), you can’t fix it without tracking down where it first appears. Up until now, that meant scrolling through countless lines of code to find where that cookie first pops up. 

Now, using ObservePoint, if you need to remove a cookie, you simply need to run a quick Audit or Journey, go to the Cookie Inventory Report, and expand the cookie you are investigating. From there, you can clearly see where and how a cookie originated, whether from a JavaScript function or as part of network request header.

Screenshot from ObservePoint web scanner showing how a cookie got on this website

It’s worth noting that cookies can be set, modified, or deleted on any given page. What’s more, multiple of these actions can happen on any given page. With Cookie Initiators & Origin Stories, you can quickly see the full lifecycle of any cookie on your site. 

In this example above, you can see this cookie originated from the homepage, then was deleted once the “user,” (which was actually the ObservePoint web scanner opting-out of data tracking) declined all tracking.

The Origin Story of a cookie tells you when it was first set and if any site actions like page load, network requests, or JavaScript execution changed its parameters. This easy-to-use feature gives you a clear picture of how the cookie has evolved and been influenced by various interactions with each page on the site.

To learn more about how to take advantage of this patent-pending feature from ObservePoint, check out this webinar where we discuss how to use it in detail. 

This feature is available to all ObservePoint users, including those in our Free Trial. Try out a trial now to track down your cookies in just a few minutes. 

 

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