Google Chrome 11 to let users delete flash cookiesFlash cookies can also be deleted via IE8 or 9

06 May 2011

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The latest version of Google Chrome could let users delete flash cookies directly from their browser.

According to a posting on the Chromium blog, Google has begun testing the ClearSiteData API in Chrome in its Developer channel. 

The ClearSiteData API is Adobe Systems’ new flash cookie removal 'tool'.

The Developer preview channel is where new features and ideas get tested. If ClearSiteData proves to be stable, it will move onto the Beta channel.

To learn more about Google Chrome, take a look at our operating system launch preview

Bernhard Bauer, a software engineer working on the Chrome development team,' writes: 'To make local storage data deletion easier, we worked with Adobe and others in the web community to design the NPAPI ClearSiteData API. 

'This API, which Adobe has implemented in Flash Player 10.3, has made it possible to delete Flash LSOs directly from the browser itself.

'As of this week’s  Chrome Dev channel release, you can delete local plug-in storage data (such as Flash LSOs) from within Chrome.

Flash cookies, or Local Shared Objects (LSOs), are persistent cookies used by Flash applications to remember a user’s preferences. However, some websites and third parties have been accused of using flash cookies to track online browsing behaviour for behavioural advertising purposes.

Standard cookies 

Unlike standard cookies, which are used in the same way but store smaller amounts of data, flash cookies are not deleted via your browser setting.

Prior to this development, if you wanted to remove Flash cookies from your computer, you had to either install an add-on such as Mozilla Firefox's BetterPrivacy or visit the online settings application on Adobe’s website.

However, earlier this year, and in answer to its critics, Adobe said it was working with a number of browser makers to develop ClearSiteData.

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that anyone who was using Internet Explorer (IE) 8 or 9, and who had installed Adobe Flash Player 10.3, would be able to delete Flash cookies by using the 'Delete Browsing History' feature in IE. 

Microsoft published an API that enabled this for third-party plug-ins when it released IE 8.

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