Another category of electronic monitoring tools are those known as "Flash cookies
" or "Flash local shared objects." (34) These files are so named because they are installed on an Internet user's computer when an individual visits a website that utilizes Adobe's Flash video player technology.
The Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), which sets standards for behavior by online marketers and analytics firms, officially frowns upon the use of Flash cookies
and other tracking technologies that circumvent user privacy settings.
Since 2010, many companies have faced legal action as a result of using flash cookies
. Wired magazine reported in December 2010 that Quantcast, an online tracking firm, "agreed to pay $2.4 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging it secretly used Adobe's ....
It is particularly worrisome because third party aggregators are creeping into a lot of sites that you and I visit." <p>EFF staff technologist Peter Eckersley noted in the blog post that there appears to be no easy way for users of such sites to avoid being tracked in this fashion.<p>To mitigate the risk, users of social networking sites need to disable flash cookies
and ensure that all other cookies are deleted when the browser is closed, Eckersley wrote.
In addition, the new version of Chrome has the ability to delete Flash cookies
, which is known to be abused by some websites to track users.