What is in Your Cookie Box? Explaining Ingredients of Web Cookies with Knowledge Graphs

Tracking #: 3144-4358

This paper is currently under review
Geni Bushati
Sven Carsten Rasmusen
Anelia Kurteva
Anurag Vats
Petraq Nako
Anna Fensel (WUR)

Responsible editor: 
Guest Editors Interactive SW 2022

Submission type: 
Full Paper
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has imposed strict requirements for data sharing, one of which is informed consent. A common way to request consent online is via cookies. However, commonly, users accept online cookies unaware of the meaning of the given consent and the following implications. Once consent is given, the cookie "disappears", and one forgets that consent was given in the first place. Retrieving cookies and consent logs becomes challenging, as most information is stored in the specific internet browser’s logs. To make users aware of the data sharing implied by cookie consent and to support transparency and traceability within systems, we present a knowledge graph (KG) based tool for personalised cookie consent information visualisation. The KG is based on the OntoCookie ontology, which models cookies in a machine-readable format and supports data interpretability across domains. Evaluation results confirm that the users’ comprehension of the data shared through cookies is vague and insufficient. Furthermore, our work has resulted in an increase of 47.5% in the users’ willingness to be cautious when viewing cookie banners before giving consent. These and other evaluation results confirm that our cookie data visualisation tool helps increase users’ awareness of cookies and data sharing.
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This paper was submitted for consideration in the Special Issue: “Special Issue on Interactive Semantic Web”.