Mitigating Privacy Risks of Cookie-Fried Web-Surfers in Nigeria
40 Pages Posted: 14 May 2019 Last revised: 14 Jan 2020
Date Written: May 14, 2019
In Nigeria, it would be unusual if none of its 111.6 million web-surfers were not monitored by online platforms when visiting particular websites for the purpose of extracting data points which can be commercially exploited or transferred in real-time to interested third-parties. Against this background, this article conducts a simple Web Privacy Measurement test to visually observe the extent of interaction between the typical web-surfer in Nigeria and third-party cookies used to monitor his online activities (which this article refers to as “cookie-fried”; a portmanteau of the words “cookie” and “fried”), while visiting randomly selected websites in a real-life scenario. In the light of these findings, this article examines the privacy risks arising from this type of practice, and how these risks may be mitigated.
The substantive issue discussed in this article is intended to inform public understanding of the privacy-impacting implications of using third-party cookies and incite a call to action for policy makers to consider adopting a robust statutory framework that articulates the manner in which personal data may be collected online from web-surfers, and for online platforms to be more accountable in their data collection practices in Nigeria.
Keywords: data privacy, cookies, data protection
JEL Classification: K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation