What do cookies track?

Websites use cookies to track information about their users, like

  • their search history;
  • login credentials;
  • items in shopping carts;
  • IP addresses;
  • pages visited; and
  • even in-page actions (such as button clicks or time spent on a website).

When users surf the web, their web browser makes requests from websites’ servers. The sites send back a requested page along with any embedded content, such as images or videos. Cookies are inserted into the data stream by the server and stored in the user’s browser. Each cookie is assigned a unique ID, which is how websites identify users and serve content to them based on users’ online activities. This is how cookies track website users.