Monday, November 08, 2010

Big Brother Pollies tracking You

Today's news carried a story about the websites of politicians using cookies, including so-called 3rd party cookies to track the web movements of visitors.

Most politicians have websites. The politicians named include: NSW Premier Kristina Keneally (Labor); NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell (Liberal), Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott (Liberal), and teh website of The Greens. All the websites reportedly placed 3rd party cookies. ie cookies from anther website not related to theirs. None of the websites indicated they used them. Some of the cookies were Adobe Flash cookies: these are NOT deleted when you use the "delete cookies" setting in your browser.

Flash cookies can be removed. See the following sites: 

More worryingly, these politicians, from all parts of the spectrum, are, I believe, unethical in their use of such tracking cookies because they do not inform visitors to their site that they use them, and do not offer an option to turn them off. They will not be alone in that: many companies, including the target-de-joeur banks, use flash animation in their sites. Personally, I've never much liked Flash: it is more likely than other software to crash any of my browsers, and their cookies seem largely aimed at generating business income, and not user  convenience.

At the macrommedia site (link above), work through each of the Settings Manager links on the LHS. (see below)

Cut the politicians, corporations, and others that want to track you. If they collect enough data about you, it could be used to identify you!