Advertisers are determined to continue invading our privacy.
By now, all of us should be familiar with the term cookie
, a packet of information stored locally
on your computer to store everything from your logins to your preferences on where to browse. By now, you probably delete these cookies on a
semi-regular basis, to avoid having footprints.
You're not alone. Over half of the U.S. internet users do the
. Why? Because an advertiser has no frickin' business knowing about our private lives outside of the way it applies to their business.
That's why! This is the message we repeatedly try sending to advertisers, in the hopes that they will take a hint, and leave us alone.
Far from taking a hint, though, the advertisers have simply found another way
to try and track web site visitors
. If you thought the weight of "cookies" was hard to get rid of, wait till you see how much you have to go
through to get rid of "PIE" (Persistent Identification Element).
PIE acts as a backup for cookies, and is feature of Macromedia's Flash MX, which is a web-content application used in Flash Player (which you
from Internet Week
"Using technology like United Virtualities's to circumvent consumers could cause a backlash...
(PIE) sounds like it flies in the face of what consumers are telling us. They're seeking privacy and control, and if this is denied, then they won't
be happy." - JupiterResearch analyst David Schatsky.
So who do we have to thank for this? United Virtualities
. The same company that brought you those
god-awful annoying adds that cover up half the page, getting in the way of your reading.
Wouldn't it be nice if we, the consumers, could be as invasive to our tormentors as they are to us? I consider spyware and commercial tracking to be
similar to breaking and entering into someone's house, and spraypainting whatever you want on the walls. Now I would never encourage anyone to commit
a criminal act, but I wouldn't shed a tear if these people got even a fraction of the annoyances that they throw at us, back in their faces.
Anyway, here's my part to help. Macromedia has
instructions on disabling shared objects uploaded to browsers
. Alternately, you could raise your security settings in your browser to
"highest" but that's like using an 18-wheeler to crush an egg.
Might I also suggest that, if you feel as strongly as I do about this, then you send them many many complaints.
To save you the trouble, here are the email addresses from their site.
I'm sure we have some creative people here who know how to launch a good peaceful, legal protest. Go get 'em.
[edit on 4/5/2005 by thelibra]