Adobe Offers More User Control Over Flash Cookies

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cookies1.jpgADOTAS – Several lawsuits were filed against major media tech firms last year — including Disney, Fox Entertainment Group, NBC Universal, Quantcast and Clearspring Technologies — claiming they were misleading browsers through using Flash Cookies, which were typically not deleted when users cleaned out their HTML cookie bin.

Flash Cookies, which Adobe prefers to call local shared objects (LSOs), are used to support web technologies such as Flash Player and browsers employing HTML5. They were designed to save small pieces of information (LSOs are three hundred times smaller than an MP3) such as logins or preferences locally on a computer rather than on a site’s server.

However, some unsavory types were taking advantage of their hard-to-kill nature to restore tracking information to deleted HTML cookies or track browsers without their knowledge… Quantcast and Clearspring argued they used Flash Cookies for analytics purposes only.

Adobe has heard the cries of online privacy advocates and worked with companies such as Mozilla and Google to build a new API for clearing LSOs from a browser as well as all plugins that install the API. It was approved for implementation on Jan. 5 and should appear any day now on the Google Chrome developer channel.

In addition, Adobe is enhancing the Flash Player Settings Manager to allow users to decide which sites (if any at all) they want to employ LSOs. Currently by visiting the Global Storage Settings page you can opt out of collecting LSOs.

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