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WSJ Warnings About Cookies Carry Cookies

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the pot-meet-kettle dept.

Privacy 45

itwbennett writes "The Wall Street Journal has 'a pretty useful section tracking privacy issues, privacy protection tools and the threats thereof from online marketers, from the point of view and on the technical level of a relatively savvy consumer,' says blogger Kevin Fogarty. The downside: He discovered that reading two stories from the WSJ's privacy section left behind deletion-resistant Flash cookies."

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Trojan? (4, Insightful)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230066)

Does that count as a Trojan article?

Rgds

Damon

Re:Trojan? (2, Funny)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230234)

Does that count as a Trojan article?

Ironic, for our pleasure.

Those cookie crumbs sure do itch though.

Re:Trojan? (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232994)

Come on, anyone knows an article like this is half-baked; it's all about the dough, and only chips away at the real issues. I want to see the subject served up on a platter, freshly prepared and ready for immediate consumption, before I'll endorse a crumby thing like this.

Mmmmm.... (0)

Noam.of.Doom (934040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230124)

Cookies....

Re:Mmmmm.... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230536)

I know. That picture makes me want to go to the grocery store and buy some of the pre-made pilsbury or tollhouse cookies...

Damn you slashdot! I'm trying to NOT look like the steriotypical obese geek, thank you very much! mm.... coookies...

Cookies carrying cookies?! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230130)

Yo dawg, we heard you like cookies...

Re:Cookies carrying cookies?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230244)

Yo dawg, we heard you like cookies...

Oh yeah. Wasn't expecting that one.

Re:Cookies carrying cookies?! (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231696)

yo dawg, i herd you like sarcasm so i appended a yo dawg comment to a yo dawg thread so you can be sarcastic while you're sarcastic.

Re:Cookies carrying cookies?! (3, Interesting)

ZeRu (1486391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230400)

This site stores your viewing preferences in cookies. It is possible to opt out of this in your settings. However, that information will be stored in a cookie.
Do you still wish to opt out?

Re:Cookies carrying cookies?! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34242544)

It is possible to opt out of this in your settings. However, that information will be stored in a cookie.

How else would the site remember that you’d asked to opt-out of its tracking cookies upon your next visit?

The important question is... is the flash cookie user-unique?

Cookies in the Cookie article? (3, Funny)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230138)

It's a good thing it wasn't an article on syphylis

Maybe your are not as .sol as you think! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230158)

Bullocks I can see it is really easy to get rid of flash cookies.
If you cannot access the .sol files with a Windows SWF install then try in Linux. The cookies are set in a .macromedia folder created in the specific user /home directory and do not require root to remove. I guess if you run Windows then you might be .sol but my guess is that if you set up users in windows correctly then there should be no trouble "chucking your cookies"...Something I frequently do when using Windows. It is not that hard if you just understand what .hidden files do and how they work.

Re:Maybe your are not as .sol as you think! (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230246)

Bullocks I can see it is really easy to get rid of flash cookies. If you cannot access the .sol files with a Windows SWF install then try in Linux.....

Yes that's going to be really easy for the majority of Windows users!

Re:Maybe your are not as .sol as you think! (1)

javakcl (857093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230484)

ccleaner finds and removes these pretty well in Windows.

Re:Maybe your are not as .sol as you think! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34243452)

in linux I changed the menu line for starting firefox to
bash -c 'rm -rf ~/.adobe; rm -rf ~/.macromedia; firefox %u'
what is the equivalent to put in Windows startmenu?

Let's all just acknowledge this for a moment (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230176)

"Threats of online marketers."

Online marketing is a threat. We all need to acknowledge this and accept it. It is a threat to our privacy and to ourselves if and when that information is sold (because there are few if any laws against it) for purposes other than marketing. The problem starts with aggressive marketing. It needs to stop. They will not willingly respect us. They have to be forced to do so. They will not change their ways out of guilt or shame -- they have none. Let it settle into your brain and then act accordingly.

Re:Let's all just acknowledge this for a moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34231036)

> Online marketing is a threat.

How so? I haven't seen any signs of anything resembling "online marketing" online so far.

It's only a 'threat' for people who voluntarily give away their personal information. I chose not to do that except to a few companies I do business with who have well described privacy policies and do not share my information further.

If you're one of those people who runs all the tracker scripts, downloads all the web bugs, follows all the tracking redirects... well... don't turn around and complain about the very predictable results of doing that. You got what you asked for.

No, I do not acknowledge online marketing as a threat. As far as I can tell from where I sit, it does not exist. You may of course do you as you like.

Re:Let's all just acknowledge this for a moment (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231770)

Indeed - the threat is users who don't make the effort to educate themselves to the dangers. Online marketing is a threat in the same way that a swimming pool is a threat, if you dive in without knowing what you're doing you might well get in trouble, but most people can feel their way as they go and not have any real issues, while people who really know what they're doing can enjoy all the benefits with virtually zero risk - just look at all the free content we get because of online marketing, do you really want to pay for every single site you view?

Re:Let's all just acknowledge this for a moment (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232386)

Users are stupid, and they aren't willing to understand tracking behavior-- and they SHOULDN'T HAVE TO.

There is such a thing as public safety, and the behavior of marketers is something that needs sorely to be roped in. You can educate people until you're blue in the face. But the whofuckingcaresaboutyourprivacy folks will be one to five steps ahead if it's legal.

Doing a holier-than-thou solves nothing. Instead, do what you can to strangle the proctological orrifi that think that your information is about *them*.

Re:Let's all just acknowledge this for a moment (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232898)

It's a threat to your privacy to use the unencrypted un-anonymous web.
Even use of TOR doesn't guarantee your "privacy".

Let's all sit around in a group and read news paper articles.
If you want to read a section, just ask someone sitting next to you to pass it along.

Now, let's try to provide the news paper, room and chairs for free... Guess what happens: Advertising.
Guess what makes more money? Targeted Advertising. Guess who knows that you want the sports section? That fella sitting next to you who passes you the article... he may even work for the news paper, eh?

If you want to sit in our group wearing a ski-mask and gloves, and only use sign language to communicate we may not know who you are, but we will still recognize you as the ski-masked mute.

Vote for Browser-Cookies... because the alternative is a pay-wall beyond which the advertisers will have your real name and billing information.

police thyself (2, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230282)

"The central issue in writing federal privacy legislation is whether the Internet industry's efforts to police its own behavior has been effective enough."

Apparently they can't even recognize their own behavior, let alone police themselves.

Re:police thyself (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230976)

Well, the article-writing investigatory department and the advertising department and the IT department are all separate entities. I doubt that Emily Steel, Nick Wingfield and Julia Angwin (looking at some bylines here) have any real power to "police" the rest of the WSJ organization.

FWIW they did include their own site in the study's infographic, at least.

I Use Ghostery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230290)

It deletes flash cookies and block sites that place them.

URGENT NEED !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230324)

Won't someone give me a FUCKIN' RAT'S ASS !!?? PUHLEEZE !! How can I possibly give it if I don't have it ??

dammit (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230426)

now i want a cookie....

Flash cookies (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230486)

Flash cookies are easily deleted using Adobe's Settings Manager. [macromedia.com]

Re:Flash cookies (2, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230678)

Flash cookies are easily deleted using Adobe's Settings Manager. [macromedia.com]

Yes, having to go to an Adobe web page to delete files from your local machine makes perfect sense.

Personally I just configured Apparmor so Flash can't write to anything but /tmp and its local config files, and no longer have to worry about whatever stupid crap Adobe do.

Re:Flash cookies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34231158)

/tmp?

Why not /dev/null?

Re:Flash cookies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34231380)

> so Flash can't write to anything but /tmp

What are you on about, controlling the operation of your own computer like that? Actually *thinking* and making conscious decisions about whether you want to store tracking cookies?

Dude that isn't the American Way(tm). (No clue if you're from the US, just making a point). The American Way(tm) is to act out of ignorance and incompetence, and then demand that someone else fix the mess we got ourselves into. Despite cookies being widely reported in the popular media, you're supposed to act like you don't know they exist.

Making rational decisions about your own computer? Bah. Get with the program. Soon we'll make it so subversives like you CAN'T control their own computers. That'll learn ya.

Re:Flash cookies (1)

drop table user (1517433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230738)

It doesn't get much easier than rm -rf ~/.macromedia

Except that isn't enough (1)

littlewink (996298) | more than 3 years ago | (#34231296)

There are no less than 3 sets of information (alright, "cookies") stored by flash on linux, two bfolders in .macromedia and another folder in .adobe. You must delete all 3 (as well as the folders themselves if you want to clear directory entries). .

Firefox's BetterPrivacy extension (2, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230520)

Re:Firefox's BetterPrivacy extension (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230980)

In addition to Better Privacy, you can also change your flash plug-in settings to disallow LSO's using the flash applet at Macromedia [macromedia.com] .

Looks like another memo from... (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230830)

the Department of Redundancy Department.

you are a waste of electricity .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34230846)

Apart from the comment by user 'drop table`, the rest are a waste of electricity. Tacho, I can't remember the last time I read any comment on slashdot that advanced my understanding of technology.

Flash a-ah (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230972)

Savior of the Universe
Flash
He save everyone of us
Flash
He's a miracle
Flash
King of the impossible

Words have power (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34230986)

If they had been named turds, rather than cookies, people might use and accept them a little less casually. From now on that's how I'm referring to them.

Re:Words have power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34234488)

How did they steal my account info? Turds.

Why am I getting all this junk email? Turds.

WSJ = idiots trying to write about tech... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34231332)

Dear WSJ, you are a financial rag NOT a tech rag. Stop trying to be the Executive uncle that tries to look smart about everything but ends up looking foolish to us nephews that actually know the tech.

I cant stand the "look I am smart" executive... executives are idiots, that is why they were promoted, the were doing too much damage down in the trenches so they had to be promoted to get them away from where real work was being done.

P.S. sandboxie kills all these "super cookies" instantly. and only a fool runs his browser un-sandboxed.

Why's this in "Idle"? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#34232220)

I'm just trying to figure out why this would fall into the Idle category? I thought Idle was supposed to be for *completely* useless, completely *offtopic* stuff which wouldn't fit anywhere else on slashdot?

Information about WSJ articles on privacy and cookies seems pretty on-topic compared to most of the stuff in Idle.

Re:Why's this in "Idle"? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34234588)

I'm just trying to figure out why this would fall into the Idle category?

I would guess because it's completely useless. It's the equivalent of someone high on weed (or Alanis Morrisette) making an "insightful" comment about irony. Next Week: online journal publishes article about the potential dangers of the internet on the internet!!!!!!!

Cookies!!!!! (1)

fbartho (840012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34233138)

Cookies!!!!!!

Cookies Carrying Cookies? (1)

ps2os2 (1216366) | more than 3 years ago | (#34239264)

Does that mean we have to ban the girl scouts from our streets? Or have they developed anti virus for the cookies?

No flash storage = no streaming porn (1)

wye43 (769759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34239780)

... you should know that , just in case you are in a hurry to disable local storage in flash.

Are you going to disable it now?

... I thought so.

tracking indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34240188)

And the page carrying the IT World article about the WSJ tracking contains seven tracking entities itself.

BTW, this Slashdot page carries a Comscore beacon tracker.

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