GitHub removes its annoying cookie banners

Cookie banners are one of the most annoying parts of browsing the web, forcing you to click accept or deny on multiple sites. Microsoft-owned GitHub is starting to address this aggravation by removing cookie banners from its site this week. “At GitHub, we want to protect developer privacy, and we find cookie banners quite irritating, so we decided to look for a solution,” explains GitHub CEO Nat Friedman. “After a brief search, we found one: just don’t use any non-essential cookies. Pretty simple, really.”

GitHub, which operates independently from Microsoft, has now removed all nonessential cookies, meaning the site doesn’t send any information to third-party analytics services. This is a change that’s turned into a commitment, so GitHub will only ever use cookies that are required and none to track, display ads, or send information elsewhere.

The EU’s cookie consent policy, introduced in 2018 as part of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), has been central to sites implementing cookie banners. It’s a policy that has been implemented in many different ways across sites, with some particularly poor results on mobile versions of sites.

The EU has been trying to fix its abysmal cookie consent policy this year, but it’s going to take more drastic changes to reverse how often these prompts are displayed across the web. GitHub is a good example for a web service to set, and combined with browser vendors phasing out third-party cookies, we could see less annoying cookie walls and banners eventually. Realistically, we’re still going to be living with these annoying prompts for years to come.