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Old 09-21-2010, 02:06 PM   #1
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Default Are Flash cookies tracking you?

Do you feel as if you are being followed online? I do, and it has become much more blatant recently. A few weeks ago I was researching recumbent exercise bicycles, visiting manufacturers’ sites, reading complaints and comments about various models, and so on. Then I went about my normal online activities, and haven’t looked further into the subject. Most of you know I am no jock, and normally I never see ads for sports or exercise equipment. But all of a sudden and for several weeks following, wherever there were ads they were about gym equipment. Some linked to sites I had visited; others to competitors of those sites.

I realized this was caused by cookies. What I didn’t realize is that these were souped-up cookies that despite any settings I fiddled with never disappeared. Hrmmmmph.

Today I read an interesting article in the N.Y. Times: “Code That Tracks Users’ Browsing Prompts Lawsuits.” It refers to lawsuits against the use of Flash cookies that are immune to a user’s normal cookie control procedures.

They are placed by marketeers using Flash. Do read the Times article to see the details.

My main point in mentioning this is that the cookie files are not stored on the user’s computer, so you need to take an extra step to delete them. Instead they are stored in the Website Storage Settings Panel on an Adobe Macromedia server. Visit that link to see what Flash cookies are stored for you. The panel allows you to delete selected or all sites in the list. (It takes a minute or so.)

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