Firefox-Addon: How to Delete Flash Cookies
, 12 Jun, 2010
Dear Cookie, Till Death Do Us Part
Actually Super Cookies, Flash Cookies and LSOs are like common cookies which browsers set on HTTP-request. After all they serve websites which want to recognize their visitors and deliver custom settings for users dont wanting to make them every visit. Enabling the user to save time instead of logging-in and edit preferences every time, this feature defiantly increases the web experience. Nevertheless, there is a world of differences between LSOs and common browser cookies. Firstly, these Flash Cookies arent saved in your browsers profile but in a shared directory which is beyond your browsers control, so you can not access/delete them easily. Websites utilizing Flash store information up to 100KB in there. Secondly, as the term Shared in the name suggests, all applications on your machine have access to this profile. Thats why Youtube in Chromium has the same volume set by you in Firefox. Moreover, these files have no expiration date and therefore it is possible that they survive a long time. All this points lead to the risk of being tracked, e.g. by advertising companies or worse.
Where is the Emergency Switch?
Adobe delivers a configuration page allowing you to delete every single cookie. People with less spare time than a week are welcome to use the Firefox Plugin Better Privacy (via). It lists all data stored in your profile and has an easy-to-use one-click delete button for all data. Besides, you can configure which sites are allowed to save information and which are not. Combined with the option to cleanup all cookies while shutting down the browser, you have a mighty tool to regain your privacy.
A nice Firefox Addon. Users of other browsers are free to consider alternative tools for their software or settle for Adobes “Tool”.
Speaking of the Adobe Flash Player and privacy: Recently an option was added to the plugin allowing it to respect the privacy mode of the browser. To put it differently, Flash Player now should not save any data while your browsers incognito mode is enabled. Referring to my tests, this is at least true for Firefox, Chromium and Opera.