Managing Adobe Flash supercookies and the PIE problem

September 14, 2011

Popular sites such as MSN, Hulu and Flixster have been using supercookies (aka “Flash cookies”) for some time in an attempt to find a way around users deleting normal cookies (which can be up to 4K in size). The regeneration (re-spawning also known as “Zombie cookies”) of regular cookies to prevent deletion is one such irritation.

Supercookies can track a user’s activity across multiple websites; never expire; use up to 100K of data and send data about you without your permission. Privacy control anyone? In the past week, Microsoft (MSN) has stopped tracking users with supercookies, but others haven’t. Expect others to follow the Microsoft lead very soon. So, what about the Adobe Flash supercookie issue?

Adobe Flash supercookies seems to have created some interesting discussions on forums, so it’s worth discussing in more detail. Adobe Flash is using supercookies by placing what they call “Locally Shared Objects” or LSOs on your system. This means developers don’t have to use a scripting language, so LSOs have speeded up how quickly they process and hide supercookies on your system. Read more...


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