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For the past few months, I've been unable to continue a particular course on udemy. I can access all other video courses accept that particular course and their support has answered "We recently upgraded our content delivery network and now use cookies to authenticate each video playback session for enhanced security. Please go to 'cookies' in your browser settings and allow the property udemycdn-a.com."

I'm already authenticated when I log in and I can view all other courses, so I don't know why just this one particular course requires this change but not any of the others (even newer ones). Does this sound strange to anyone else? Why would this particular course require "enhanced security" when udemy is hosting it? It just sounds shady to me. Thanks.

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    How is that shady? – Vipul Nair May 26 at 19:11
  • Pardon my vernacular, perhaps 'shady' is the wrong word, suspicious or strange would have been better. I'm surprised some posters got hung on that word and couldn't understand my sincere uneasiness. Is there anything wrong with an end-user being suspicious of words like 'enhanced security' when it is not clearly defined in relation to cookies? (rhetorical question). Cookies are not always used in innocuous ways. – Chris22 May 28 at 18:53
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I'm already authenticated when I log in and I can view all other courses, so I don't know why just this one particular course requires this change but not any of the others (even newer ones).

We could conjecture that people "share" this video out to friends more often than others, thus triggering increased scrutiny of viewers from their end. You'd have to ask Udemy to be sure, but it's well within their rights. In Udemy's case, since content is derived from different instructors, it may be that the instructor for this individual course requested increased protections.

Does this sound strange to anyone else?

No.

Why would this particular course require "enhanced security" when udemy is hosting it?

For the same reason that cigarettes and baby formula are locked up behind the counter in stores - because they are attractive targets for theft, due to their high resale value. Or it could be as simple as the instructor "wanting" it.

It just sounds shady to me.

No. The base purpose of cookies is to make services work better. They're clearly identifying to you that cookies being dropped are causing problems with their service, and telling you how to fix it. Contrast that to the wide number of sites that break silently and unhelpfully!

  • My question was innocent and not meant to arouse any offense or hostility. I had logged in and cookies are already identifying and tracking me, yet I was being told to enable additionals for one course only (not any others) without a reason. No, they did not "clearly identify" to me "that cookies being dropped are causing problems with their service". I'm cautious with enabling cookies, as they are not always used to 'make services better' for the end-user as they are for the business. – Chris22 May 28 at 18:43
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Does this sound strange to anyone else?

Not at all. HTTP is a stateless protocol. Cookies are the common way to keep the state between the various HTTP requests. In this case this state is needed to share the information who is logged in between the various requests.

Why would this particular course require "enhanced security" when udemy is hosting it?

Unfortunately it is unclear from your question what the difference is between this course and the others in general. It is also unclear how the information about authentication are shared for the other courses. Therefore it is impossible to answer this particular part of your question.

  • I had no idea what the difference was between this particular course (requiring me enable a 'special' cookie) and not the others -- that is what I wanted to know. I wasn't offered any explanation so I googled and then decided to post a question here. Thanks for your explanation to the part of my question that you could answer. – Chris22 May 28 at 18:54

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