A few months ago we wrote about the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed “Do Not Track” list and legislation. One of the biggest invaders of your privacy is cookies that track you, and that respawn after you (think you) have deleted them, or, as they are known, “Zombie Cookies” (so-called because they come back from the dead). As defined in Wikipedia, “a zombie cookie is any HTTP cookie that is recreated after deletion from backups stored outside the web browser’s dedicated cookie storage.” Variations on this theme include the Adobe Local Shared Object (LSO) cookie, and the Evercookie. There was a Zombie cookie law suit last summer, levelled against such industry giants as ABC, NBC, MTV, ESPN, MySpace, and Hulu, alleging that they were using Zombie cookies that respawned after being deleted because their backups were being stored in Flash. That technology was provided by Quantcast, who was the lead defendant in the Zombie cookie lawsuit. Not long after, the FTC announced their “Do Not Track” legislation proposal, and now Consumer Reports is asking their members to contact their Congressmen in support of the proposal.
In case you aren’t aware of this, every time you visit a site that has Google Adsense on it, and every time you visit a site that uses the DoubleClick ad management system, you have the potential for being tracked via a cookie that is injected to your computer. The cookie is known as the DoubleClick DART cookie, and, in fact, there is a very good chance that you are being tracked by one of these cookies. This is so that Google and DoubleClick can better serve you, providing better ads which, in theory, you will find more interesting and enticing.