Online privacy technologies and the Frosmo Platform
The requirements for internet privacy are getting ever stricter as online service providers rely increasingly on visitor data for personalization and optimization. While visitor data has many valid uses, such as providing a visitor with relevant and interesting content, collecting data through cookies and other tracking technologies is sometimes seen as intrusive, especially when the intention is to sell the data to third parties.
While Frosmo never collects visitor data for its own purposes, or for the purpose of selling the data to a third party, the Frosmo scripts are technically third-party content on websites, and some privacy technologies therefore affect the Frosmo Platform.
This document gives an overview of the most common privacy technologies and their effect on the Frosmo Platform.
All the major browsers, such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari, contain different levels or privacy settings. The easiest way to enable the features without manually adjusting the browser settings is to use a private browsing mode (known in Chrome as incognito mode). In a private browsing mode, the browser creates a temporary browser session separated from the browser's main session and user data. Browsing history is not saved, and local data associated with the session, such as cookies, are cleared when the session ends, that is, when the visitor closes the browser tab or window.
Visitors can also use privacy browsers (for example, Brave, Epic, and DuckDuckGo), which contain more built-in privacy features than the standard browsers, and often use a private browsing mode by default. Privacy browsers also typically block ads while preventing websites from collecting any data about the visitor.
Third-party blocking technologies can be roughly classified into:
Ad blockers. Typically, free-of-charge browser extensions or standalone apps that prevent displaying third-party ads on web pages. Blocking is based on filter lists containing the names of tracking files or systems that are filtered out. The most common ad blockers include AdBlock and AdBlock Plus. Basic ad blocking features are also built into the most common browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
Tracking blockers. Software or browser settings that prevent programmatic trackers from collecting data about the visitor's online activity. Tracking blocker features include hiding user search queries, private browsing, prevention or deletion of third-party cookies, and hiding the visitor's IP address.
Privacy blockers. Browsers, browser extensions, or standalone apps that combine ad blocking and tracking blocking features and often aim to protect the visitor's overall online privacy. These blockers often affect even the most basic analytics tools, such as Google Analytics. Blocking can also involve setting up a private VPN network for browsing. The most common wide-spectrum privacy blockers include Ghostery, Privacy Badger, and uBlock Origin.
How private browsing and blockers affect the Frosmo Platform
We have compiled some of the most common questions about how online privacy technologies affect the Frosmo Platform.
What happens if a visitor uses a private browsing mode or a privacy browser?
The Frosmo Platform treats a private browser session as a new visitor. This means that no segmentation or other data previously stored in the visitor's browser is available for the session. Each new private browser session is counted as a new visitor for the site.
You can still personalize content in real-time based on visitor actions, such as clicks and product views.
What happens if a visitor uses an ad blocker, tracking blocker, or privacy blocker?
The functionality of the Frosmo Platform is generally not affected by basic ad blockers. The platform is not an ad serving solution and therefore is not on any basic ad blocking lists.
However, privacy blockers that block any third-party data and scripts effectively prevent the Frosmo Platform from working. For example, the following privacy technologies block the platform:
F-Secure FREEDOME VPN (only when tracking protection is enabled, and only for pages that use HTTP)
Ghostery (when the "Beacon" category is selected)
Opera's built-in ad blocker
What happens if a visitor disables third-party cookies in their browser?
If the browser only disables third-party cookies, the Frosmo Platform is not affected, as it does not rely on third-party cookies.
If the browser disables third-party local storage in addition to third-party cookies, and if your site uses shared context, the Frosmo Platform will not work. This is because the shared context data, which the platform relies on, is third-party for your site. For information about how to address this issue, contact Frosmo support.
What happens if a visitor browses a site that uses shared context, but their browser or device blocks shared context?
If your site uses shared context, and if a visitor uses private browsing modes that block third-party data, the Frosmo Platform will not work. This is because the shared context data, which the platform relies on, is third-party for your site.
For information about how to address the issue, contact Frosmo support.
What happens if a visitor refuses all but the strictly necessary cookies on the site?
The Frosmo Platform collects and stores selected data in the browser's local storage and cookies. For more information about the data stored in the visitor's browser, see Data storage and retention.
The legislation in most countries requires online service providers to acquire visitor's consent for setting cookies. Therefore, many service providers implement a cookie consent element on their websites that allows the visitor to select the types of cookies they accept or refuse. The cookies are roughly categorized as:
Strictly necessary. The website does not function properly without the cookies.
Analytics. Cookies that enable counting visits and traffic sources for website monitoring and optimizing.
Targeting. Cookies that enable providing the visitor with personalized content.
Advertising. Usually, third-party cookies that enable ad services to show relevant ads on the website.
How you should classify Frosmo cookies on your site depends on the Frosmo Platform setup and purpose on your site. If you effectively cannot provide the core service of your site without the Frosmo Platform, you can classify Frosmo cookies as strictly necessary. This is the case, for example, if the front page of your site is built on recommendations displayed through the Frosmo Platform.
However, Frosmo cookies are also used for analytics and targeting. If a visitor does not give their consent to such cookies, you must make sure that you will not collect personal data of that visitor and that you will not show personalized content to them.