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In 2009, my team at Berkeley showed that many top websites were tracking users through Flash cookies, and that some advertising networks were "respawning" or reinstantiating HTTP cookies that the user deleted. Over the past two years, a chorus of advocates, regulators, and businesses condemned the practice of using Flash for unique user tracking. This chorus was heard by many. In our followup survey of Flash cookie practices, we found that fewer websites were using Flash cookies. Thirty-seven of the top 100 websites were doing so, down from 54 in 2009.
<img class=" alignright" src="http://static.arstechnica.net/2010/10/21/thumb_hiding_closeted_ars.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="169" /> Facebook’s privacy problems continue this week after researchers discovered that Facebook may inadvertently be outing gay users to its advertisers.
By JULIA ANGWIN And STEVE STECKLOW At 1 a.m. on May 7, the website PatientsLikeMe.com noticed suspicious activity on its "Mood" discussion board. There, people exchange highly personal stories about their emotional disorders, ranging from bipolar disease to a desire to cut themselves. It was a break-in. A new member of the site, using sophisticated software, was "scraping," or copying, every single message off PatientsLikeMe's private online forums.
Free Public WiFi — too good to be true. iStockphoto.com It's in your airports, your coffee shops and your libraries: "Free Public WiFi." Despite its enticing name, the network, available in thousands of locations across the United States, does not actually provide access to the Internet.
“That wouldn’t have been difficult,” he said. Instead, he has made the code open to anyone who wants to examine it and says the cookie should be used “as a litmus test for preventing tracking.” A recent spate of class-action lawsuits have accused large media companies like the Fox Entertainment Group and , and technology companies like Clearspring Technologies and Quantcast, of violating users’ privacy by tracking their online activities even after they took steps to prevent that.