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04/01/2005 Archived Entry: "Company bypasses user deletions of cookies"


United Virtualities is offering online marketers and publishers technology that attempts to undermine the growing trend among consumers to delete cookies planted in their computers.

The New York company on Thursday unveiled what it calls PIE, or persistent identification element, a technology that's uploaded to a browser and restores deleted cookies. In addition, PIE, which can't be easily removed, can also act as a cookie backup, since it contains the same information. ...

Mookie Tanembaum, founder and chief executive of United Virtualities, says the company is trying to help consumers by preventing them from deleting cookies that help website operators deliver better services.

"The user is not proficient enough in technology to know if the cookie is good or bad, or how it works," Tanembaum said. ...

"Any abuse of this technology is not welcomed by us," Tanembaum said. "We believe people should use this technology responsibly. If people don't want cookies in place, then (their browsers) shouldn't be tagged."

Consumers can make PIE inoperable by raising the security settings in their browsers to its highest level, Tanembaum said. But he acknowledges that such a high setting would also hamper consumers' ability to visit non-PIE websites.

For its part, Macromedia has posted on its website instructions for disabling shared objects uploaded to browsers.

Gotta love that ole Mookster there, telling us we're all as dumb as dirt so he's gotta help us secretly replace those cookies we were so silly as to delete -- then not wanting anybody to "abuse" his product by doing something with it we wouldn't want done.

(Another one from privacy maven Richard M. Smith.)

Posted by Claire @ 12:48 PM CST

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