Adobe plans to make it easier to delete Flash cookies in web browsers
A new API in browsers would make it easier to delete Flash cookies from web browsers. Unlike browser cookies, Flash cookies cannot simply be disabled or deleted via browser settings. Until recently, Flash cookies also ignored some settings for data protection, such as the private browsing mode.
Flash cookies can only be managed via the Flash Player's settings, and they can only be deleted via the Settings Manager on Adobe's web site or by manually deleting the cookies in the operating system's file system.
The new API, NPAPI:ClearSiteData, is the brainchild of Mozilla, Google, Apple and Adobe. It allows Flash cookies – also known as Local Shared Objects (LSO) – to be deleted directly in the browser's settings without having to visit, say, the Settings Manager on the Adobe web site. The API would also allow any data collected by plug-ins to be deleted as well, provided that the plug-in supports the process.
The API is expected to be implemented for the first time in Google's Chrome in the next few weeks. Furthermore, Adobe plans to make the Settings Manager for Flash accessible via local settings in Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. In taking this step, Adobe is reacting to the growing criticism from data protectionists and, for instance, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which charged that Flash cookies are beyond the easy control of users and are increasingly being abused.