Google's latest public display of cookie addiction revealed that while the ad side of Google enthusiastically embraces third-party cookies, the browser division is more hesitant. Here's how the five major browsers--Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera--protect you from those third-party tracking cookies.But first: what's a tracking cookie? And why are they so important as a component of your online privacy? A tracking cookie can be used to follow people around the Web as they jump from site to site. Though your IP address or your HTTP request header's referral field can also be used … Read more
When it comes to privacy, is the Googleplex speaking with one voice?
A new Google privacy controversy has revealed conflicting messages and actions between two different factions within the company: those working to protect consumer privacy on the one hand, and those seeking to improve advertising and social networking on the other.
Meanwhile, the news that Google overrode default cookie settings in Apple's Safari browser has prompted two complaints to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and renewed calls for legislation and industry standards that would protect Web surfers from being tracked across sites if they don't … Read more
But what exactly are you thwarting? You don't become anonymous when you block tracking cookies, Web beacons, and the other identifiers as you browse. Your ISP and the sites you visit still know a lot about you, courtesy of the identifying information served up automatically by your browser.
As the case for Web censorship moves forward, Twitter announced today that it'll soon block tweets on a countrywide basis when they violate local restrictions, so we can look forward to our government making it illegal for Nickelback to fight back against their Twitter haters.
There are more than a few things in the kitchen where time is of the essence. Cookies and smoothies-to-go are two of those things.
Cookies have to take the time to bake. Sad, but that is just the way it is (the deliciousness of cookie dough notwithstanding). Luckily, after this period of time has eclipsed, the oven door is finally pried open and--voila!--the cookies are ready to eat. After they cool down, that is.
Most specialty appliances try to be something they are not. It may be a case of exaggeration about its feature set, or perhaps a confusing product description that would lead someone to believe it is capable of something that it is not. Not so with the Sunbeam Fortune Cookie Maker. The countertop appliance is even shaped like a fortune cookie.
I have an admission: I've always liked fortune cookies. They aren't too sweet, they have just the right amount of crispness, and they form a perfect complement to a take-out meal (especially when eaten first). If there is … Read more
Two U.S. congressmen today asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Facebook's practice of tracking users even after they have logged out.
"When users log out of Facebook, they are under the expectation that Facebook is no longer monitoring their activities. We believe this impression should be the reality. Facebook users should not be tracked without their permission," said the letter (PDF) sent to the FTC by Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Joe Barton, a Texas Republican.
"Facebook was able to obtain this information when users visited websites that connect with Facebook, including websites … Read more
There are those for whom Facebook is a way of life.
They commit themselves to it because it's automatic and just so self-empowering.
Many would not have been concerned when, this weekend, a hacker called Nik Cubrilovic offered the interesting information that Facebook seemed to be sucking in data from even those users who have actually logged out.
Indeed, Cubrilovic claimed that even if you log out, Facebook "still knows and can track every page you visit," as its cookies burrow away in your laptop's entrails, consumed by the compulsion to share.
You might think Facebook … Read more
Web spies are getting stealthier and stealthier. Recently they've been caught peering into our browser histories to determine the sites we've visited, even in so-called privacy mode with cookies disabled, as Dan Goodin described earlier this month on The Register.
Many of the companies whose sites were discovered using the technique claimed to have had no idea and immediately decried the spying. Julia Angwin reported on many of these surprise responses on the Wall Street Journal's Technology site.
If the owners of the spying sites aren't even aware of the activity, what are unsuspecting visitors to … Read more
Flash cookies are tiny pieces of software that Web sites place in your PC to store log-on data, passwords, and other personal information to save you the trouble of re-entering it all every time you visit the site. Many Flash cookies also store information about your Web browsing habits and other private data you may not want to share. Flash Cookie Cleaner is a small piece of portable freeware from ConsumerSoft. It identifies Flash cookies in your system and gives them the opportunity to delete them, if you want to. Of course, some cookies are good for your system, and … Read more