back to article Adobe (finally) makes it easier to delete Flash cookies

Adobe has finally fixed a privacy weakness that threatened users of its ubiquitous Flash Player: the software's storing of cookie-like files that many websites used to track visitors' behavior against their wishes. So-called LSOs, or local shared objects, are useful for storing user preferences, such as the preferred sound …

COMMENTS

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  1. Fuh Quit
    Thumb Up

    Just don't install Adobe Browser "Helper" software

    Job done. Or must I assume that my Chrome latest version is suckered by these LSOs too?

    1. foolonthehill
      Thumb Down

      Chrome

      I think you'll find that Chrome comes with Flash built-in - you can't avoid installing Flash and therefore "Flash cookies" on Chrome (though you can disable them completely). Try FF and BetterPrivacy.

    2. Anton Ivanov
      Badgers

      IIRC chrome bundles flash as a default

      That is why I use two browsers as a habit.

      Konqueror with no flash and most privacy and security settings cranked up as high as possible.

      Firefox only for 4-5 selected sites which do not display properly in Konq or need flash.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Badgers

    BetterPrivacy extension for Firefox

    BP seems to do a pretty good job but it's still just a sticking plaster for a bigger problem,

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Better yet...

    Just don't install Adobe software.

    The "cookie" problem has been know for a very long time (years), Adobe's lack of action before shows just how much they care about end users.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not enough

    I use the "BETTER PRIVACY" addon which specifically intended to delete this crud. Adobe need to also change the way that settings are stored - why on earth are they held on their servers and not locally? No excuse for that kind of security breach or tracking.

    1. Annihilator
      Coat

      Steve?

      Steve? Steve Jobs? Is that you?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        RE: Steve?

        Nope, it's just someone with common sense!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just use sandboxie

    Right Click

    -Default Box

    --Delete Contents

    *All Gone*

  6. foolonthehill
    Big Brother

    Want to see your entire browsing history?

    Try looking here: http://www.adobe.com/go/settmgr_storage_en

    I use FF and BetterPrivacy and still had a worryingly long list of visited sites...

    1. Marky W
      Go

      Really?

      I had sod all there, and use the same FF/BP combo.

      Have you got the 'Also delete Flashplayer default cookie' option checked? As BetterPrivacy points out, it stores all visited flash sites...

    2. Christoph Silver badge

      Same here

      Despite using BP I had a huge list, including sites I don't recognise, sites I haven't been to in months or years - and www.theregister.co.uk

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Kibble
    Thumb Up

    BetterPrivacy addon for Firefox

    Been using that for a while, and it can be configured to delete LSO's upon closing the browser or manually by the user. Just hope it's incorporated into Firefox 4.

  8. PReDiToR
    Thumb Down

    I usually

    rm -r .adobe/ .macromedia/

    And have done with it. Aside from running NoScript, Flashblock and AdBlock Plus that is.

    Can't beat redundancy. Make sure nothing gets through and if it does, kill it with fire.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    @Fuh

    At the bottom of the Articles on the Reg are "related Stories".

    Take a guess which you need to read.

    Hint: Sites pulling sneaky Flash cookie-snoop (19 August 2009)

  10. David Hicks

    Better Privacy, Adblock Plus and Cookie Monster

    Firefox extensions, people should use them. Better Privacy allows control of LSOs, Cookie Monster lets me control normal cookies and ABP lets me control what content my browser loads.

    This set allows me to have some confidence that I'm in control of the information being stored and handed out by my computer.

    For instance, there's no need for facebook to know when I'm visiting other sites, yet they do because of the facebook buttons you now find everywhere. Solution - facebook content and cookies are blocked outside of the facebook domain.

    LSOs are deleted on closing the browser, most sites don't get to place cookies at all and I don't retrieve or run behind-the-scenes javascript from google or doubleclick.

    As a result the web is a faster, cleaner experience.

  11. NorthernSands
    Welcome

    Apple may be on board...

    The thread you linked to (already approved for Firefox) has e-mails coming to / from the following domains:

    adobe.com

    mozilla.org/.com

    google.com

    apple.com

    So Apple are certainly involved in some form or another (but this doesn't, obviously, say whether anything related will show up in Safari)..

  12. Ed Vim

    Find it hard to trust Adobe

    I still rely on the BetterPrivacy add-on for Firefox to clear all the LSO's that build up when I'm online. Whether Adobe offers a cleaner user interface than that weird Flash Cookie web site before doesn't give me any more confidence in Adobe's ethics. The whole premise for LSO's is quite insidious -- they're not just some kind of enhanced browser cookie, in principle there's deception included by design.Sadly, Adobe's stance on privacy is no better than on the security aspects of their products.

  13. Deadly_NZ
    Thumb Down

    Pity

    they didn't make it easier just not to have to deal with the whole Badly written, bloated, Piece of Shit in the first place...

  14. Cameron Colley

    RE: Suggestions to not use Flash.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again here: You may not want to watch BBC iPlayer*, 4OD or ITV Player or play Fantastic Contraption, GrowCube or Hapland but some of us do.

    Until the whole web is HTML5 and there is no Flash then not using Flash, in my case and I'm sure others also, renders my PC pretty much unusable for one of the primary purposes I bought it for in the first place -- enjoying web media.

    With all the stories going around about Flash all hte time I don't think anyone would use Flash if they felt they could do without it.

    *I am aware of Get iPlayer, it has worked a couple of times and now it doesn't -- it is also no longer supported by its creator and is possibly frowned upon by the BBC.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      getiplayer

      got forked, and is being updated independently of its original author.

      http://www.infradead.org/get_iplayer/html/get_iplayer.html

    2. Annihilator
      Unhappy

      Not to mention

      As far as I'm aware, the Beeb have seemingly yet to come up with a way to watch live BBC coverage on iPlayer when not using Flash. Was confused for a while when friend's iPad could watch all iPlayer programmes except the live feed until it dawned on me...

  15. Neal 5

    How quaint.

    With the addition of the "Better Privacy" selection under on the 'Tools' menu on Firefox, there is an option that allows you to remove LSO cookies either upon approval by the user or automatically. I am not sure what effect this would have on browsing. I have read up on LSO cookies , but did not find a clear-cut answer to whether it's a good thing to delete them or not .

    ALSO: I have used adblocker plus with Firefox, and noticed the increasing presence of Flashplayer advertisements, which adblocker does not remove.

    So, to summarize,Dan, yes you do have an opinion and you do have the right to express it, but, opinions are like arseholes. Everybody has got one. Unfortunately for us, yours is always on display.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Adobe

    OK. That's ONE of the multitude of problems dealt with.

    At this rate, the last of them will be solved in the year 45,234. Hopefully my monkey bulter will bring the news to me (a head in a jar) just before I start the hovercar to go to work.

    ...and if the hovercar uses any Adobe software then I just won't be going to work incase I fall out of the sky ;)

  17. David Kelly 2

    Safari Cookies

    An add-on for (at least) the Mac version of Safari, called Safari Cookies, allows one to selectively delete Flash Cookies.

    A bit disappointed that Safari Cookies doesn't allow one to selectively block cookies. But it seems in Safari if one says "do not accept cookies" that does exactly as said, doesn't accept new cookies but will serve existing cookies if requested. I preferred the pop-up dialog when Konqueror was set to "Ask".

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