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You Deleted Your Cookies? Think Again

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posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 07:20 PM

By Ryan Singel August 10, 2009 | 7:39 pm

More than half of the internet’s top web sites use a little known capability of Adobe’s Flash plugin to track users and store information about them, but only four of them mention the so-called Flash Cookies in their privacy policies, UC Berkeley researchers reported Monday.

Unlike traditional browser cookies, Flash cookies are relatively unknown to web users, and they are not controlled through the cookie privacy controls in a browser. That means even if a user thinks they have cleared their computer of tracking objects, they most likely have not.

What’s even sneakier?

Several services even use the surreptitious data storage to reinstate traditional cookies that a user deleted, which is called re-spawning in homage to video games where zombies come back to life even after being ‘killed,’ the report found. So even if a user gets rid of a web site’s tracking cookie, that cookie’s unique ID will be assigned back to a new cookie again using the Flash data as the ‘backup.’

Even the showed up in the report, with researchers reporting they found a Flash cookie with the name ‘userId.’ The site does say in its privacy policy that it uses web sites web sitess tracking technology but it does not mention Flash or tell users how to turn get rid of the Flash cookie.

The report is being submitted Monday as a comment in the government’s proceeding about the use of cookies on federal websites. Federal websites have traditionally been banned from using tracking cookies, despite being common around the web — a situation the Obama administration is proposing to change as part of an attempt to modernize government web sites.

But the debate shouldn’t be about allowing browser cookies or not, according Ashkan Soltani, a UC Berkeley graduate student who helped lead the study.

“If users don’t want to be tracked and there is a problem with tracking, then we should regulate tracking, not regulate cookies,” Soltani said.

Rest of the story is HERE

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 07:29 PM

adjust your Flash settings there

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 08:00 PM
LOL! people are still worried about cookies??


All major ISP's as well as various government entities have for the past 3 years been using a little black box which filters and tracks every and everything you do on the internet. Every email, every instant message, every website, file, data... the whole shebang. Not only that but this data will be kept for over 6 years. And red flags will go off depending on certain keywords automatically to be later investigated by an official. This goes for VOIP as well. NOTHING you do on your computer involving the internet is safe, no firewall, anonymous IP or encryption can save you.

How do I know?

Someone in my family from a well known IT firm was contracted by the government to build this little black box. There were many different teams involved in this so no one saw the big, complete picture.

So if you sleep better at night cleaning your cookies, by all means... knock yourself out.

[edit on 10-8-2009 by porschedrifter]

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 08:11 PM
I've had some adware cookies that I've had trouble cleaning out and found deleting cookies worked. When I do my virus scans, sometimes theres several hundred cookies. I just thought it's a good idea to delete old stale cookies.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 08:22 PM
If you use firefox, just add this plug in. You can delete these sneaky little buggers real easy!

It's called "Better Privacy".

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:31 PM
You all made my smile today, thanks. By the way that black box thingy can be purchased to help prevent others from following you home after a stroll online.
You just plug it in between your electronic equipment and the web.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:36 PM
three free programs that i swear by.. spybot search and destroy, malwarebytes anit-malware and ccleaner.

rinse and repeat.

by the way, thatt little black box is not the same as the one i'm talking about. this one costs real $$$

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:47 PM
That Adobe window froze up my computer

Still can't get rid of the damned window

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:47 PM
reply to post by porschedrifter

Not sure on the cost, its a small square box that a few of the contractors use when working on US Government stuff.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:51 PM
I had one the other nite clled Spy Hunter.
It turned up so much stuff that it made me wonder if this was added as a part of their sales pitch.
They wouldn't clean it unless they got $$.
Also it seems that it froze my computer.
Altho I was having a problem with "Relevant Knowledge" a snoop marketing program.
If your computer is running slow and/or you have little boxes coming along asking you to take a survey....check for it on you program list- the one in the Start menue. It doesn't show up in the add/rmove programs.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:13 PM
To set information inside the users flash SharedObject as it is called one must make the request -

I have developed flash for ten years all over the world - you know what else I can do - I can turn your camera and microphone ON and record you and stream it to the web and save it - FACT.

Think about that next time you are looking at a flash porn site.

Anyone want to know more ?

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