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Are Cookies About to Crumble?

Techstination feature for Friday, July 28, 2000

No matter how big the cookie jar in your kitchen... if you browse the Internet I'll bet you've got a bigger stash in your computer. What kind of cookie? Not chocolate chip...

"It's a small piece of code that is placed on a consumer's hard drive by a Web site when a person visits that Web site."

Microsoft COO Bob Herbold. Your hard drive is loaded with cookies from Web sites and companies that advertise on the Web. They can be used to track your preferences. The good news is... Microsoft is testing new Internet Explorer software that will give you a lot more control over those cookies...

"First of all, a set of help capabilities that will clearly explain to the user what are these things and what do they do for me. And then secondly, the addition of things such as a delete all cookies button on the primary Internet options page."

You may want to allow some cookies and not others. They aren't all bad...

"For example, if you like to receive advertising messages you should leave those cookies there because, in fact, they describe the characteristics of your behavior on the Web."

The new controls in Internet Explorer should be available within a month. You can find us on the Web at Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin for CBS News.