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A study of more than 100 popular websites used by tens of millions of people has found that three quarters directly leak either private information or users' unique identifiers to third-party tracking sites. The study, co-authored by Craig Wills, professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), also demonstrated how the leakage of private information by many sites, including email addresses, physical addresses, and even the configuration of a user's web browser -- so-called browser fingerprints -- could permit tracking sites to link many disparate pieces of information
A cookie, also known as a HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is used for an origin website to send state information to a user's browser and for the browser to return the state information to the origin site. The state information can be used for authentication, identification of a user session, user's preferences, shopping cart contents, or anything else that can be accomplished through storing text data.
Cookies are not software. They can't be programmed, can't carry viruses, and can't unleash malware to go wilding through your hard drive. However, they can be used by spyware to track user's browsing activities – a major privacy concern that prompted Europe and US law makers to take actions.  Cookies could also be stolen by hackers to gain access to a victim's web account.
I don't consider myself an expert in the area of cookies, but I do know something so I'll share what I know and would be glad to learn from any true experts on the topic.
Originally posted by XPLodER
do we need a link to srubber as well
is this even possable
hoping some techies can answer some of the questions as cookies are not my knowledge area
For my Firefox browser, it means unchecking the "allow third-party cookies" box, so that's easy. But there are at least 2 other ways they can track you besides cookies that I know about. One of them is mentioned in this report:
instead of bloating our detection database with thousands of cookies out there, we prefer recommending to change your browser settings a bit to block out all these third party cookies before they even come into your system:
So in addition to tracking cookies, there are also "web bugs". If ATS is using "web bugs" I have nothing to block them because I allow everything on ATS in my security software, for example I mark ATS as a "trusted site" in the "noscript add-on" for Firefox. But when I go to other sites, if they aren't trusted, noscript prevents "web bugs" from spying because I don't have the untrusted sites whitelisted like ATS.
Unfortunately, persistent cookies also can be misused as spyware to track a user's Web browsing activities for questionable reasons without the user's knowledge or consent. For example, a marketing firm could place advertisements on many Web sites and use a single cookie on a user's machine to track the user's activity on all of those Web sites, creating a detailed profile of the user's behavior. Cookies used in this way are known as tracking cookies. Information collected by tracking cookies is often sold to other parties and used to target advertisements and other directed content at the user. Most spyware detection and removal utilities specifically look for tracking cookies on systems.
Another way to capture and deliver a user's private information is through the use of Web bugs. A Web bug is a tiny graphic on a Web site that is referenced within the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) content of a Web page or e-mail. The graphic has no purpose other than to collect information about the user viewing the HTML content. Web bugs are usually invisible to users because they typically consist of only 1 pixel. Like tracking cookies, Web bugs are often used by marketing firms. They can collect information such as the user's Internet Protocol (IP) address and Web browser type and can also access a tracking cookie. These actions enable Web bugs to be used as spyware to create personal profiles of individual users.
The other tracking method I know about involves flash, and apparently to prevent this, you go to Flash Player Help, click on Global Storage Settings Player uncheck the box : "Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer."
-Forbid "Web Bugs" blocks Web Bugs (tracking images) found inside noscript tags, used as a (less effective) fall-back to spy on user's behavior when scripts are not available.
Originally posted by XPLodER
reply to post by Arbitrageur
ok so the problem goes like this
ATS requires we allow cookies for advertising reasons log on ect
why cant ATS set the standard for privacy for all other sires to follow
by offering a link to "strip" cookie info
when exiting the site or going to a link outside of ats
I'm pretty sure they meant to say "expire in months" instead of "expire in moths" Anyway I don't see any privacy issue there.
From time to time data cookies will be set by various portions of the application code that runs the forums, features, games, and other specialty items running on our web servers. At no time is any personally identifying information (other than site username) ever stored in these cookies. The cookies are used to provide our application with page-to-page awareness of your user status and/or access privileges. Most of these cookies expire within days, but some may expire in moths or years.
Then they list google, doubleclick, and a few more third party cookie providers' links on how to manage or even opt-out of the third party cookies.
Third Party Data Cookies:
Advertising networks that serve advertising on the Websites may write their own cookies for the purposes of determining advertising frequency and relevance, and to match ads against your interests based on aggregate non-personally identifiable information learned about your Internet browsing. We have performed reasonable diligence on all advertising networks authorized to serve ads on our websites to ensure that their data cookies are for this purpose and nothing more. Many of the providers serving display ads on the Websites provide users with the ability to opt-out of these third-party cookies. Below is a non-exhaustive list of the networks which may, from time to time, deliver ads to our users (many may only occasionally deliver ads). For more information about these and other companies, and your options for restricting the use of your data, visit ...