Web Analytics Rock Star Eric Peterson writes:
Back in February of this year, in partnership with BPA Worldwide, Web Analytics Demystified published a white paper detailing the risks associated with the use of Flash Local Shared Objects (LSOs) in digital measurement. Titled “The Use of Flash Objects in Visitor Tracking: Brilliant Idea or Risky Business?” the paper drilled down into how some companies are using Flash LSOs and offered the following guidance:
- Do not use Flash to reset browser cookies
- Disclose the use of Local Shared Objects
- Allow site visitors to disable Local Shared Objects
The first piece of advice turns out to be pretty important since companies are now being sued over their use of Flash to reset browser cookies. MTV, ESPN, MySpace, Hulu, ABC, NBC, Disney, and others are being dragged into a lawsuit based on their use of Quantcast and Clearspring who were identified by Soltani, et al. as using Flash LSO to reset deleted browser cookies. These lawsuits
allege a “pattern of covert online surveillance” and seeks status as a
class action lawsuit.