Adobe Flash, a plug-in we all use to watch video or play games online, was bundled into the Google Chrome browser about a year ago. Users of other browsers usually have to install and update the plugin manually. While there are some disadvantages (like minimizing the choices a user can make), the are also benefits (e.g. auto-updates). But in the latest Chrome builds there is a new feature that will come in handy for privacy-concerned users: Flash cookie deletion.
Flash cookies are often used to track user behaviour etc. Other than normal cookies, they couldn’t be deleted directly in your browser, users had to visit an Adobe website to clear Flash Local Shared Objects (LSOs). So in reality, nobody ever did it, making flash cookies an easy way for advertisers to permanently track you. But due to the bundling of the Flash plugin into Chrome, a new feature could be integrated by Google that makes it very handy to clear the computer from stored flash cookies. All you have to do is go to Wrench > Tools > Clear browsing data and choose “Delete cookies and other site and plug-in data”, this will delete flash cookies as well.
While this is a right step towards giving the user more control over personal data, extension like Adblock for Chrome are still essential as they are the only way for users to completely disable unwanted advertising or tracking codes spying on users.