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3.0 Third Party Cookies - DoubleClick
The following description of DoubleClick contains information from the w3.org web site.

The DoubleClick Network is a system created by the DoubleClick Corporation to create profiles of individuals using the World Wide Web and to present them with advertising banners customized to their interests. DoubleClick's primary customers are Web sites looking to advertise their services. Each member of the DoubleClick Network becomes a host for the advertising of other members of the network. When a Web site joins DoubleClick it creates advertisements for its services and submits them to DoubleClick's server. The Web site then modifies its HTML pages to include an <IMG> graphic that points to DoubleClick. When a user goes to view one of these modified HTML pages, her browser makes a call to DoubleClick's server to retrieve the graphic. The server chooses one of its member's advertisements and returns it to the browser. If the user reloads the page, a different advertisement appears. If the user clicks on the graphic, her browser jumps to the advertised site. Currently many hundreds of sites belong to DoubleClick.

From the user's point of view DoubleClick's graphics appear no different from any other Web advertisement, and there's no visible indication of anything special about the graphic. However, there is an important difference. When a user first connects to the DoubleClick server to retrieve a graphic, the server assigns the browser a cookie that contains a unique identification number. From that time forward whenever the user connects to any Web site that subscribes to the DoubleClick Network, her browser returns the identification number to DoubleClick's server, allowing the server to recognize her. Over a period of time DoubleClick compiles a list of which member sites the user has visited and revisited, using this information to create a profile of the user's tastes and interests. With this profile in hand the DoubleClick server can select advertising that is likely to be of interest to the user. It can also use this information to compile valuable feedback for its member Web sites, such as providing them with audience profiles and rating the effectiveness of the advertisements.

Although names and e-mail addresses are not part of the information that DoubleClick records, other information that the browser leaves behind is sufficient, in many cases, to identify the user. See Server Logs and Privacy for more information. For this reason many people are uncomfortable with DoubleClick's use of cookies. To find out whether you have been tracked by DoubleClick, examine your browser's cookies file. On Unix systems using Netscape, the cookies file can be found in your home directory in the file ~/.netscape/cookies. If a line like this appears:
    ad.doubleclick.net FALSE / FALSE 942195440 IAA d2bbd5
then you are carrying a DoubleClick cookie.

Windows users will find the equivalent information in the file cookies.txt, located in their C:\Programs\Netscape\Navigator directory, while Macintosh users should look in their System Folder under Preferences:Netscape. Users of Microsoft Internet Explorer should examine the files located in C:\Windows\Cookies.

Current versions of both Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer offer the option of alerting you whenever a server attempts to give your browser a cookie. If you turn this alert on, you will have the option of refusing cookies. You should also manually delete any cookies that you have already collected. The easiest way to do this is to remove the cookies file entirely.

The drawback to this scheme is that many servers will offer the same cookie repeatedly even after you refuse to accept the first one. This rapidly leads to a nuisance situation. Before you panic over cookies, it's worth remembering that the vast majority of cookies are benign attempts to improve your Web browsing experience, not intrusions on your privacy. Netscape Navigator 4.0 provides a new feature that allows you to refuse cookies that are issued from sites other than the main page you are viewing. This foils most DoubleClick schemes without interfering with the more benign cookies. To access this option, select Edit->Preferences->Advanced, and select the appropriate radio button from the cookies section.

  1.0 Background
  1.1 Cookie Delivery
  1.2 Cookie Recipe
  1.3 Browser Interaction
  1.4 Cookie Flavors
  1.5 Cookie Owners
  2.0 Methods
  2.1 JavaScript Methods
  2.2 PHP Methods
  2.3 ASP Methods
  3.0 DoubleClick
  4.0 P3P Implications
  4.1 IE6 Cookie Actions
  4.2 Unsatisfactory Cookies
  5.0 P3P Cookie Element
  5.1 P3P Cookie Declaration
  5.2 Compact Policies
  6.0 Legacy Cookies
  6.1 Legacy Cookies Provisions
 Web Logs
 P3P Purpose Elements
 Web Bugs
 Policy Planning
 Web Site Design
 P3P Technical Issues
 Compact Policy Validator
 Standard Policy Statements
 P3P Compact Policy
 P3P Headers
 Frames vs. Privacy
 P3P Policy Violation
 P3P Install with Mambo
 P3P Install with Lasso
 Blocked Cookies
 Yellow Input Elements
 2o7.net Tracking Cookies
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