Next Time a Cookie Pops Up on Your Computer, Hire These Killer AI Armies

AI

AIAfter years of suffering from cookie pop-ups, a new AI tool has finally offered hope of an escape 

It seems that a way has been found for artificial intelligence to help us with a problem that we face every day: pop-up windows or popups for cookie consent. As reported by “Thenextweb” The EU may have brought freedoms, peace, and wealth to millions of people, but all those benefits have been nullified by one horrendous drawback: cookie pop-ups. The consent banners enforced by the bloc’s privacy regulations are among the internet’s most irritating features. The lawmakers behind them may have had good intentions, but they’ve merely trained us to blindly click through every notification. This article features how AI can now kill those annoying cookie pop-ups. 

 

The New AI Tool

After years of suffering this digital torture, a new AI tool has finally offered hope of an escape. Named CookieEnforcer, the system was created by researchers from Google and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The system was created to stop cookies from manipulating people into making website-friendly choices that put their privacy at risk. Yet it could also end the constant hassle of navigating the notices. In testing on the top 500 websites in the Tranco ranking list, the team found that the tool was 91% effective at automatically disabling non-essential cookies.

 

All About the Tools 

The system first detects the dreaded warnings by scanning the rendering pattern of their HTML elements. CookieEnforcer then analyzes the notices and predicts which actions will disable all unnecessary cookies. Finally, the machine-learning model selects the chosen settings.

“This is done by modeling the problem as a sequence-to-sequence task, where the input is a machine-readable cookie notice and the output is the set of clicks to make,” the researchers explain in their pre-print study paper. Unfortunately, the AI tool isn’t yet available to the public, but the team plans to launch it as a simple browser extension.

While you wait, there are a few other means of bypassing cookie pop-ups, such as DuckDuckGo’s new browser for Mac. In this era of ads, trolls, and tech barons ruining the internet, it’s reassuring to know that digital soldiers are still fighting the good fight.

 

Advanced-Data Protection Control

“Advanced Data Protection Control” or ADPC, for short, is a piece of browser tech spearheaded by Austrian lawyer Max Schrems, who’s most known for his decade-long battle against Facebook and its dirty data practices. Instead of every site asking folks to opt into having cookies dropped, ADPC would let you set privacy preferences within the browser. Those preferences get invisibly conveyed to any site that a user visits, nixing the need for pages to hound them with annoying pop-ups or banners.

In a nutshell, ADPC transmits cookie preferences to the sites you visit in one of two ways: either that data gets sent directly to the server hosting a site (using HTTP headers), or directly to the site itself (with lines of JavaScript code). In the latter case, sites will throw up a pop-up the first time you visit asking you to set those basic preferences and that will (hopefully) be the only time you’re asked.