"More than half of the internet's top websites 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 website?s tracking cookie, that cookie's unique ID will be assigned back to a new cookie again using the Flash data as the 'backup'." ( from Macintouch )
I just deleted them manually. There were hundreds of them. Most were from sites I had never visited, such as Cadillac and Mercedes. Talk about an invasion of privacy.
Locations I flushed were: 1) /User’s Home Folder/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash Player/#SharedObjects and 2) /User’s Home Folder/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash Player/macromedia.com/support/flashplayer/sys
Thanks for the tip! Not that I have anything to hide, but it isn't right to invade someone's privacy. The new version of Firefox asks permission when Flash is going to do this, which is a nice thing. Hopefully, Safari will do the same.
Yep, a necessary evil. That's one way our "free" internet everyone takes for granted is paid for. Advertisers and websites need marketing data to know where their dollars are best spent. Without the advertisers our free websites couldn't survive. It's not an invasion of privacy, we know cookies are left, it's just business.
Thanks for the tip though, it's possible for corrupt cookies to cause browsing problems so it's good to know how to delete them.
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