There's a Firefox add-on for that...
It's called BetterPrivacy. You can set it to delete flash cookies every time you exit the browser.
Walt Disney's internet subsidiary and several of its partners have been sued for allegedly using cookies based on Adobe's Flash Player to track highly personal information about their users, many of whom were minors. The LSOs, or locally shared objects are better known as Flash Cookies, and their ability to gather detailed user …
I have ClicktoFlash installed on Safari, Flashblocker on Firefox.
Safari now has extensions, you can get one called YouTube5 which loads HTML5 versions in place of the Flash.
w.r.t this article, isn't it more likely the snot bags' parents were searching for depression stuff? I totally oppose what Disney has allegedly done, but it's absurd to sue them. They should sue Adobe for creating such a sucky platform.
They didn't do anything wrong. It was the companies using the tools who allegedly did the badness.
Can you sue Microsoft for what people write in Word? Can you sue gunmakers because their products are used to kill people? Can you sue Ford because someone was knocked over by one? Nope.
Half an answer: The BetterPrivacy add-on for Firefox does a good job of removing these nasty files, but so far I haven't found a way to block them without blocking all cookies, some of which may be needed for full functionality of a visited site. Also some sol files are desirable (e.g. Skype settings), so this add-on does require some thought in how it is configured.
One of the hallmarks of understanding proper adult interaction with children is understanding consent. Children simply don't have the experience to be able to give it because they don't understand the implications of what they (or the adult) are doing. This puts the adult in a position of responsibility. I wonder if Disney has considered this. Is it even legal for someone other than a child's parents to track their online behaviour? It seems to me that one should get the parent's permission first.
My thought is that if you are going to use tracking cookies, then you need to have a consenting age form upon entry. Perhaps there should also be the ability for parents to filter these "cookie" sites.
The current situation was entirely predictable and entirely avoidable.
People don't know about shared objects because there is no integration between flash and the browser to control them. So some sites abuse this lack of knowledge to reinstate cookies from shared objects.
Flash does have a settings page but it is very badly arranged (it has a microscopic, non resizable panel where people might be expected to manage hundreds of shared objects) and has very poor privacy controls. If Adobe want to stop this kind of crap happening, there are several obvious choices -
a) Provide APIs that allow browsers (or extensions to browsers) to control Flash settings, drill into shared objects etc.. Adobe could even write their own extension that did just that.
b) Radically revamp their existing settings page making it each for people to manage their data, set their privacy settings etc. This settings page should be task centric and resizable rather than a pissy little panel.
c) Work with NPAPI stakeholders to define a mechanism for the browser to manage shared objects. Let shared objects pass through the same security & rules for expiration & deletion as regular cookies.
I used to use flash blockers, but they aren't (or weren't) that good. One still loaded the flash, and even then let it run a little before staopping it. That one and another let the web page discover that I had flash, meaning that I didn't get redirected to the non-flash site.
Now I have 2 browsers. One that I use for almost everything and doesn't have flash installed. The other has Flash installed and I never use it unless I really want to use a site that needs flash. This works much better for me.
But I'm still waiting for the death of flash caused by the iphone / ipad brigade.
(Hopefully that can be seen across the pond) Okay, most of it was fake, but the HUAC bit was real, where he claimed various animators who were striking for better pay and unions were communists.
Firefox users can install an extension called "better privacy", which can manage flash supercookies, and add them to the list of things that the browser can clear as "private date" etc.. It's very effective. Doubtless there are things for users of other browsers- including external apps to sweep them from disk. A quick google will probably see you right. It's not rocket surgery to control it, though it's a shame that one must be constantly on the defensive to avoid Bad Things being done by supposedly reputable companies.
Letting things set whatever the hell they like, and then delete all private data on startup/shutdown seems to keep all these tracking cookies at bay.
Having recently purchased a birthday present for my wife of the black & lacy variety.
I now find a lot of websites I and my daughters visit presenting adverts for other black lacy things and sometimes red! Not really what I wanted my pre-teenage daughters seeing.
adsense - I don't remember inviting you into my fantasy!
You could even let the sites you do want cookies from (for ,say, viewing prefs) set their cookies before locking down the folder. Or just manually unlock it breifly on the rare occasions you feel the site will give value to you from setting a cookie.
While I largely ignore flash, I have web-cookie approval set to manual and never cease to be amazed by how many sites want to set a cookie despite there being absolutely nothing user-preference related on them.
I have a privately held opinion [*] that the marketers are delusional when they think their snooping on browsing can be used to sell things to us masses. Being professional liars, they lie to their clients as often as they do to potential customers, and the efficacy of browse-tracking is one of the bigger lies.
Something like the music business, the marketing business impresses me as having a dead/dying business model they are desperately trying to keep afloat.
The real use of tracking cookies (and other such features) is to facilitate simple snooping by employers, police, and other do-gooder (sometimes do-badder) busybodies who do not understand the word "private".
[*] No doubt my privately held opinion is on record with Google.
Adobe: “condemns the practice of using Local Storage to back up browser cookies for the purpose of restoring them later without user knowledge and express consent.”... "But it makes us money, so we'll give lip service to privacy but really not care because we don't want to take away a potential money source of people buying flash tools."
The best tool around to get rid of them is the Firefox addon BetterPrivacy, got it configured to automatically delete all flash cookies after I close Firefox. Apple Safari, Google Chrome etc can hark on all they like about speed but Firefox has the best overall browsing experience with all the best addons.
The more I read the more I am starting to think that I should employ a completely stateless browser. There's a goodly set of browser appliances for use with VMware player, including good old Firefox at http://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/507083, or I can play a live CD ISO image.
Clone a VM, browse, nuke it. Shouldn't slow me down much with a decent PC.
Do the guys that spy on us know about killing the goose that lays the golden eggs?
"you can stop flash cookies without browser extensions #
Posted Tuesday 17th August 2010 14:54 GMT
Just change the folder permissions to prevent Flash from accessing/reading the sharedObjects directory. Useful directions here:
That's what i did. I also use Better Privacy. I have it set crazily to block on finding, on close, and periodically. As for the linking to a dev null path, i haven't done that yet...
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