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Cookies 'not a big concern among most Internet users'

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Cookie rejection on the Internet is less than one per cent, according to a survey out today.

Researchers at California firm Websidestory took a sample of one billion page views from high-volume sites in February. They found that cookies - used by Web sites to store information about their visitors - were rejected just 0.68 per cent of the time.

"Although some Websurfers may not know how to disable cookies in their browsers, such a minute percentage indicates that cookies are simply not a big concern among most Internet users," said Randy Broberg, WebSideStory general counsel and chief privacy officer.

Alternatively, one might consider the possibility that people surrender to cookies on the grounds that lots of stuff wouldn't work if they didn't, or because they're just plain bored with assessing them individually, on a case-by-case basis. But he didn't say that.

Many dotcoms are keen on cookies, but their use has raised consumer privacy concerns. Last week Internet advertising giant DoubleClick emerged victorious when a judge dismissed a privacy class-action lawsuit that accused the company of illegal cookie-frenzy.

And last year Amazon admitted varying product prices on its site by using cookies on customers' PCs. First time visitors, or those who turned their cookies off, would generally get bigger discounts than regular users of the site. ®

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