According to the IAPP, a cookie is “a small text file stored on a client machine that may later be retrieved by a web server from the machine.” They are stored in your internet browser. Essentially, cookies are packets of information or data that are sent by websites to your computer and then sent back to the site without any alteration. Users may block or delete cookies, as well as operate in privacy mode (no cookies on browsing history).
As Norton explains, cookies help websites keep track of your activity and visits. Some common uses for cookies include storing login information for websites (i.e. saving your password and/or username on various websites) and keeping track of items in a users shopping cart. Or, a news site may utilize a cookie to save a custom text size you’ve chosen for viewing news articles.
For CCPA, if cookies have any information that can identify a person or household, then that cookie is considered personal information and must be treated accordingly. In addition, best practices for CCPA dictate that organizations clearly state the purpose of their cookies in their website privacy notice.