Thoughts about our report on browser cookies: Part I
Since then, it's been widely debated, with Seth Godin providing perhaps the strongest criticism saying:
"Let's do a reality check here. This is the same population that can't get rid of pop ups, repeatedly falls for phishing of their Paypal and eBay accounts, still uses Internet Explorer, buys stuff from spammers, doesn't know what RSS is and sends me notes every day that say, "what's a blog?"
He argues a good case, if you were a lawyer defending the indefensible, but the fact remains, that Eric's post only talks about how consumers feel the danger out there, and how security is on their minds (with no data to back this up other than the report itself). He makes references and comparisons to home security systems and spyware commercials but fails to fully justify his findings. The actual survey had a meager 2,337 participants, and i wonder just how representitive they really are?
One thing i think telling about this post is this:
It does not take a computer science degree to delete cookies. All it takes is concern, motivation and a few focused minutes. Hell, anyone who clicks "Tools > Internet Options" in Internet Explorer is presented a button that explicitly says "Delete Cookies". Firefox users click "Tools > Options > Privacy" and see a "Clear" button next for cookies. Distracted or not, these actions are easy to take and in consumers minds, appropriate to protect themselves online.
Actually Eric, many of the joe average folks i know, if not all of them, do not know what a cookie is, they do not know how to adjust their font size let alone mess with the security settings of their browser...
We'll give Eric the benefit of the doubt as this is only the first in a series, but man, he'd better be pulling something better than that out of the hat next time....