NEWS16 May 2011

Web users get easy delete option for Flash ‘cookies’

Data analytics North America

US— So long, super-cookie. Adobe’s newest version of Flash Player includes, as promised, the ability to delete local shared objects (LSOs), commonly referred to as Flash cookies, from within a web browser’s privacy settings.

Previously, LSO settings could only be managed through the Flash Player Settings Manager, but privacy advocates complained many web users found that difficult to locate (requiring a right-click on Flash content and selecting ‘global settings’ from a menu).

The use of LSOs by publishers and marketers to track people’s web behaviour drew the attention of privacy campaigners after academics showed the technology could be used to restore HTML cookies intentionally deleted by users – thus circumventing their privacy wishes.

However, research published by Carnegie Mellon University researchers earlier this year suggested respawning activity was not increasing, and may in fact be on the wane.