A tracking cookie is
|“||a cookie on a user's computer that allows someone to track the user's activity on a number of websites, thereby creating a detailed profile of the user's behavior.||”|
|“||a specific type of cookie that is distributed, shared, and read across two or more unrelated websites for the purpose of gathering information or presenting customized data to a consumer.||”|
Information collected by tracking cookies is often sold to other parties and used to target advertisements and other directed content at the user. Most detection and removal utilities specifically look for tracking cookies on systems.
"They are typically used by advertisers wishing to analyze and manage advertising data, but they may be used to profile and track user activity more closely. However, tracking cookies are simply a text file, and a record of visits or activity with a single website or its affiliated sites."
- Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?: Understanding the Issues, at 4 n.9.
- Lavasoft, "Malware from A to Z" (full-text).
- Symantec, "Tracking Cookie" (full-text).