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Flash will protect privacy

Stealth mode
Tue Feb 09 2010, 17:05

ACCORDING TO RELEASE NOTES for the beta of Adobe Flash Player 10.1, the application will break with tradition by actually honouring the privacy wishes of its users.

A lot of users are unaware that the Flash Player plugin keeps its own cookies, along with a list of web sites visited and any shared components. This means their browsing is not as private as they might imagine.

Currently Flash Player stores a lot about your web browsing habits including the websites visited, the space its cookies and other data takes up, and indeed, more or less your entire web browsing history. Worst still, it's not exactly easy to work out how to purge all this information.

In fact, if you want to wipe your Flash cookies and so on, you have to visit Adobe's website and do that there.

However, according to Adobe's beta release notes, "Flash Player 10.1 abides by the host browser's 'private browsing' mode."

The release notes add that in version 10.1 anyone using Flash Player will find the same private browsing mechanisms apply to both SWF and HTML content, meaning that any objects created while browsing in private mode will be removed once the user returns to public browsing mode. Also, any existing shared objects will not be accessible, until that is, private browsing is turned off.

Of course users have been able to delete any information held in their Adobe cache, though many might not have known this is the case. Those people, indeed those that have downloaded the 10.1 beta release, can rest assured that their privacy is now being respected.

Not that they ever knew it was a problem in the first place. µ


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