Morel et al. write about a new-to-me website phenomenon I’ve not come across yet - ‘cookie paywalls’. These are sites whereby to access the content you can choose to either have your behaviour tracked by the site or alternatively you can pay money to use the site without being tracked.

Given how much everyone hates the EU cookie popups I don’t think introducing more such barriers before being able to access a site going to cause much delight.

Although I guess I do like that it makes explicit firstly that you’re being tracked - which you probably are being on most other major sites anyway, and the vast majority are not so clear on that. One study from 2020 suggested that Google alone is tracking website visitors on 86% of the top 50,000 website. And secondly that the data being silently collected from you has some monetary value. A cookie paywall gives you the choice of how you want the website to extract value from you - pay with money or pay with data.

I was also interested to learn the amount typically charged for opting out of such tracking at present. In the examples the paper surveyed it ranged between 2.99 and 6.25 euros per month. Honestly I can’t see all that many people taking the imposition and risks of being tracked seriously enough to pay that kind of amount, particularly if it’s something you have to set up on each individual website you visit. It’s also hard for me to imagine that most people’s behaviour data on most sites is truly “worth” 75 euros a year.