Flash “Zombie Cookies” Litigation

August 20th, 2010
Practical Pointer:  Web developers should be careful about adopting web intelligence gathering techniques that put information onto users computers.  A recent class action lawsuit in California relating to ADOBE FLASH “zombie cookies” highlights the risk of intelligence gathering using certain techniques.  A number of companies including Hulu, MySpace, MTV, ESPN, ABC, NBC and Scribd were sued for allegedly using zombie cookies.  Briefly, zombie cookies are data called “Local Shared Objects” (LSO’s) stored on a user’s computer by ADOBE Flash.  Some programmers have used this memory space to store a backup of cookies generated during a web browsing session.  If the user deletes their cookies, the cookies can still be “resurrected” from the LSOs.   Further infomration is available from Wired.com and INFOWOLRD.