Do you know that if you have Adobe’s Flash Players plugin installed on your web browser that your internet activity and history is potentially being tracked and used without your knowledge or permission? Just managing your web browser’s tracking cookie through your web browser doesn’t prevent your internet browsing activity, and its history, from being tracked. Additionally, just keeping your computer current and fully patched with all of Microsoft’s critical updates keeps your computer safe from hackers, think again. Even using an antivirus program, with the most current virus definitions current doesn’t always prevent your computer and privacy from being at risk. Raed more about the privacy screen.
Recently I came across a news article that caught my eye. It was a New York Times technology piece with the title “Code that tracks users’ browsing prompts lawsuits” (Vega, 2010). This article reports about the increasing number of consumers taking legal action against companies that track their web activity without the consumer’s knowledge or permission. Adobe’s Flash Player is the main conduit for capturing this tracking data. This isn’t the first time that Adobe’s Flash player has created legal privacy issues. In 2008, Windows Secrets Newsletter published an article on Adobe’s Flash cookie privacy issues.
Recently they published another article called “Eliminate Flash-spawned “zombie” cookies” following up on the same issue (Leonhard, 2010). Adobe has done little to resolve this issue. These law suits are directed at Adobe and other companies that collect and sell information about your web browsing activity without your knowledge or permission. Another ominous contention is that some companies are surreptitiously using Flash cookies to glean information from your browser, even though you have your web browser set to reject tracking cookies.