Adobe announced in January that they would better integrate Flash Player with browser privacy controls for managing local storage. It basically meant that the storage of future Adobe Flash Player versions could be controlled directly by a web browser's web history deletion options. Flash Cookies, or local shared objects, are stored outside of the browser's reach currently, which means that deleting the browsing history will not delete those cookies. That is a privacy problem considering that Flash Cookies are often used by advertising companies to track users.
Google Chrome Canary recently introduced the option to clear plug-in related temporary contents when clearing the browsing data, and it appears that Microsoft's Internet Explorer will follow suit.
A recent post on the Internet Explorer blog highlights the change: Microsoft has added relevant APIS back when Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 was released. With Adobe's implementation of the new controls in Flash Player 10.3, it is now possible to delete Flash Cookies directly in Internet Explorer.
Adobe is implementing the new controls in Flash Player 10.3 which is currently available as a release candidate. Users who want to clean Flash Cookies in Internet Explorer need to download and install the Flash Player 10.3 release candidate, but do not need to make direct changes to Internet Explorer. The final version of Adobe Flash Player 10.3 will be released in the near future.
Microsoft has created a demo page where users can test the new feature.
You can use the demo page to create a Flash Cookie which gets saved on your system. You can test that by pressing F5 or reloading the page with a click on the reload button. The page should echo the information that a Flash Cookie is stored on your system.
This Flash Cookie, along with all others, will be deleted if you delete Internet Explorer's browsing history. You can delete the browsing history under Tools > Safety > Delete Browsing History. Please note that you need Adobe Flash Player 10.3 or newer for this to work.
Both Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 support the feature out of the box.
The demonstration page works flawlessly under Google Chrome as well, which means that Canary users can test their browser's cookie cleaning functionality as well.
Other browser developers like Mozilla have already announced that they will integrate Flash Cookies cleaning in future browser versions as well.
It seems as if we are finally able to resolve the Flash Cookies problem once and for all.
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