Automatically deal with cookies pop-ups using Consent-O-Matic extension

Consent-O-Matic is an extension for dealing with cookies pop-ups, it will automatically disable all cookies and close the pop-up. In other words, it will only agree to the essential cookies or the cookies that you can’t disable, anything else will disable it.

It has a good feature too where you can click on the extension icon and click on “Let us know!” button in case the extension didn’t detect the popup on some website or there is something buggy when handling it.

You can add rules that tell the extension how to understand each kind of GDPR consent popup.

The extension working with both Chrome and Firefox based browsers.

On GitHub: GitHub - cavi-au/Consent-O-Matic: Browser extension that automatically fills out cookie popups based on your preferences
Official Website: https://consentomatic.au.dk/

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Hi there :wave:, welcome the forum! (Feel free to introduce yourself!)

Since this was posted in the “Suggestions” section of the forum, I’m assuming that this is being suggested as an extension that you’d like us to recommend on the website (you can correct me if not).

We generally try to keep extension recommendation to the absolute minimum, as they generally increase your attack surface, as well as often being ineffective.

The issue that this extension aims to solve, to my understanding, is to make it so you can essentially avoid any dark pattern that a website throws at you when you try to opt-out of cookies and instead automates the process.

While that is a neat concept, I believe that it makes a lot more sense to tackle this problem from a different, more holistic angle.

Instead of opting out of cookies when prompted, you can simply ignore them. This may sound counterintuitive, but let me explain:

Instead of doing all this, you could use a browser that clears cookies every time you close the browser, you can properly compartmentalize your use by using browser profiles (each profile for a different purpose), or in some cases, even a different browser (such as using the Tor Browser for random surfing and another browser for signing into your accounts).

What this does is tackle the issue without relying on the good will of websites that use dark patterns and will consistently try to find loopholes to abuse the system in order to track you. Instead of that, you’re making changes to the way you do things to make that harder, or in some cases even impossible.

I hope that this post sheds some light on a different approach you can take towards Internet tracking. This particular extension is not something that I would like to see added to the site, as I believe there are much better ways to tackle the issue, as described above.

Happy to hear the community’s thoughts on this!

P.S. You can find our pages on Internet browsing here, in case you haven’t checked them out already: Tor, Desktop Browsing, Mobile Browsing

Something relevant, this functionality will launch as a Brave native feature next month:

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I really like the comparison of the different approaches in that page by Brave. Specifically this part:

One approach (which Brave uses) is to block cookie banners, and to hide and to modify pages to remove any additional annoyance such systems include (such as overlays, preventing scrolling, etc.). Other Web-privacy tools (such as uBlock Origin) can be configured to use this same approach. This approach provides the strongest privacy guarantees: it doesn’t require trusting that the cookie consent systems will respect your choice, and prevents your browser from needing to communicate with consent-tracking systems at all.

The other approach is to trust and work with cookie banners. Instead of blocking these systems (as Brave does), this alternate approach automates the process of clicking “no” in cookie-banner systems. While this approach may reduce the number of cookies sent and the overall nuisance of banners, it still records your preference with the cookie banner providers. This creates a situation of requiring the browser or extension to repeatedly ask the cookie banner provider to leave you alone. Worse, researchers have found that many cookie-and-consent systems still track people, even when users reject all cookies.

A feature that’s built into the browser, that doesn’t extend trust to an extension, and one that doesn’t rely on the good will of websites that have every incentive to try and bend the rules. You don’t see the annoying pop-ups, and the browser blocks what it needs to. Best of both worlds, in my opinion. :grin:

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Also worth noting for people using Firefox, you can use uBlock Origin and activate the “EasyList Cookie” filter and it should block cookie banners too.

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This is also a thing on Adguard for iOS, although it’s worth noting that for some sites the scroll will be locked, unless you give adguard privileged access to the page. Otherwise adguard can only use the (trustless) content blocking API which can be limited sometimes.

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Thank you for your comment.
I do let the cookies banner alone as you said, and when the banner block browsing, I hide it using browser’s inspector. And I clear the cookies when I close the browser (automatically).
I found that extension is interesting on how it handles the pop-ups and I used it for maybe two months or more, and I put it here to know your opinion about it.

So the alternative solution is to enable EasyList in uBlock Origin? I will try it now.


But we should not accept the cookies in the first place, even the if browser will clear it later, right?

I’m going to mark this suggestion as rejected, because Brave is implementing this feature natively soon, and for other browsers even though we don’t necessarily recommend enabling extra uBlock Origin lists, doing so is still safer than installing an additional full extension. Although in that case I would still recommend this approach instead:

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Since some here implied something like “just block/delete cookies in your browser and it doesn’t matter what you click on the banner”: Cookie banners are legally also responsible for other forms of tracking, not just cookies. For example server-site, fingerprinting or cookie-like mechanisms.

I would personally prefer to stick to defenses that I can verify, such as ensuring that I’m blocking third-party cookies, that I’m clearing everything when I close the browser, as well as using a browser that has at least some basic fingerprinting protections, such as Brave.

At the end of the day, those opt-out screens are a promise. There may be legal ramifications if those promises are broken, but it wouldn’t be the first time that this has happened.