Why doesn’t Sharper Iron have any of those cookie notification/permission pop-ups that are all over the web these days?

Simply put, it’s because these popups are a GDPR compliance thing and GDPR is for Europe.

It is widely claimed that GDPR applies to all persons in GDPR countries who use the web, regardless of where the site is hosted. This is usually followed by the claim that a site must be GDPR compliant if anyone in a GDPR country uses the site.

It’s hard to see how they could have that authority.

Also, popups and other screen-space eating overlays are a menace. So, until there is a U.S. federal or state law requiring some kind of interactive permission granting widget, Sharper Iron will not annoy you with one.

All of that said, to the best of our knowledge, this is what goes on with cookies …

Amazon and Google

  • An Amazon cookie called ad-id downloads from some pages. It has to do with book links and/or the Amazon search bar ad that appear on Sharper Iron.
  • A cookie called 1P_JAR from the domain sometimes appears. It’s a Google thing. According to the GIT Open Cookie database, these come from embedded YouTube videos and track playback position, etc. Other sites say the cookie tracks ad conversion rates. We remain uncertain.
  • These are probably not “tracking cookies,” though it’s unclear to us what the difference is. It’s probably best to assume that if you use the web at all, Google and Microsoft and Amazon know what you had for breakfast last Thursday.

Session Cookies

  • Logged in users get an additional cookie called [long random string of characters] for session tracking. This is how the site knows you’re logged in. Without it, you’d have to log in again every time you click on anything. In fact, if you notice that happening, it’s probably because you’re blocking cookies a bit too aggressively. This cookie doesn’t share any information with third parties.


Some of the extensions (in Drupal world, “modules”) we use on the site might employ an additional cookie or two. So far, we’re not aware of any doing this.

What You Can Do

In your browser’s settings for cookies/privacy, etc., you can block cookies from all sites, including Sharper Iron, or allow certain kinds of cookies, but not others, etc.

You might also find it handy to use a cookie managing browser extension like EditThisCookie or Cookie-Editor. We can’t promise these extensions are safe, but they’re available in places like Google’s Chrome Web Store.