So I wrote recently about the EU cookie law and how it was going to have an effect on my site. This has encouraged me to think about the way I'm actually using the tools that deploy cookies and whether they're at all useful to me and, more importantly, you.
Cookies are not really the security risk that they're painted to be by some parties. They can't run code, deploy viruses or tell me your phone number. But they can be used to track your habits while browsing; affecting the content you are presented on some sites.
The main cause of consternation among the Internet community is around Google Analytics (GA). Although Google say they won't, this data does give them the ability to track you from site to site (I trust Google marginally more than a UK coalition government). I had been using GA, but to be honest I wasn't really getting much value out of it. I don't need to do deep analysis of data or drag out user journeys through my site.
I've also not been happy with the active social media tools on the right of my site either. I don't like handing elements of my design over to third parties. And you're not really interested in how many times my pages have been tweeted, liked, dug or stumbled. They also significantly increase the load times of pages.
This action is in response to the new EU legislation but it is a strategic rethink rather than a knee-jerk reaction. I had even created an effective cookie opt-in solution. But in the end I have decided I don't need it.
Enjoy your freedom.