How we built Orchid.com without cookies or other tracking toolsJan 20, 2021
Privacy is Orchid's mission. We want to make it possible for anyone in the world to reclaim the Internet as a safe place of freedom and exploration. So the decision to make our own website, orchid.com, free of cookies and other trackers was an obvious move. But doing so wasn't straightforward -- in today's online world, perpetual harvesting of user data is the default setting. Our team needed to take specific steps in order to deliver a website that doesn't treat our users as data points.
How did we succeed in making orchid.com cookie- and tracker-free, and what does that mean for our users and visitors? First, a little background on cookies, pixels, and the Internet surveillance machine.
What are cookies, and what do they do?
Below are the steps we took to make orchid.com cookie- and tracker-free.
The nuts and bolts of a cookie-free website
In addition to avoiding outside analytics or embedded content, Orchid does not collect -- and therefore does not store -- any data from or about our customers or website visitors. We do have access to anonymous server-side statistics such as number of hits to our various pages along with their country of origin. But we have no way to tie them to anyone's real-world identities or to direct advertising or other content to them. We don't know anything about them, who they are, or where else they've been on the Internet. Instead we derive our information transparently and directly from our open-source community, whose support has been a key source of Orchid's success and momentum.
If we choose, we can build a no-surveillance future
Orchid's decision to completely eschew cookies and trackers flies in the face of years of received wisdom. Vast empires have been built around "free" services that dominate the web, from social media to search. But the simple fact is that these services do exact a price in the form of personal data. At Orchid, that was a bargain we weren't willing to make. We are able to offer a website that's free of cookies and trackers because we've built a system of robust economic incentives that allows the network to function in a healthy and transparent way.
Orchid.com shows that it's possible to build a digital service that doesn't rely on the constant tracking of users. With the right know-how, this example can be adopted by any person or business with a desire to help promote the vision of an Internet based on freedom and safety rather than surveillance.
Download the Orchid app today to start exploring the Internet freely.