It’s always been on my mind to figure out how such businesses make their money and I suspected there would be a lot of tracking going on (for a little bit of extra cash).
Well, last week I got some time to play with this, so I deleted all browser cookies and then booked a train ticket and a hotel room for my next trip. The result was 67 cookies on my local disk! Other than the obvious ones (the train company, the hotel company, quidco itself), the standard ones that are linked to everything and you can’t avoid grabbing a cookie from (facebook, yahoo, twitter etc), the list still sported an impressive assortment of sites I had no idea my computer was doing business with:
Needless to say, purchasing anything through Quidco is very difficult with privacy-enhancing plugins like RequestPolicy and NoScript (it takes too much work to manually allow all cross-site communications, scripts etc) – so I just use my “throwaway” browser (Internet Explorer) to use Quidco and then wipe out all cookies with Ccleaner.
PDF file listing all cookies dropped to my machine during that session: Quidco cookies log