WSJ Warnings About Privacy-Invading Cookies Carry Privacy-Invading Cookies

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The Wall Street Journal posted a story yesterday about the Obama administration's plan to add a privacy watching task force to evaluate rules on cookies, metacookies, flash cookies and all the other online threats to consumer privacy.

[ See also: How to murder a Flash cookie zombie ]

It's part of a pretty useful section tracking privacy issues, privacy protection tools and the threats thereof from online marketers, from the point of view and on the technical level of a relatively savvy consumer.

This presents an existential conflict for a publication spiritually more dedicated to the laissez-faire priorities of the marketers and lead-generators who work daily to invade the privacy of WSJ readers -- including an explanation of the financial justification behind prying that comes down, barely, on the side of consumers. But we'll overlook the conflict for now.

The section does look at sites voluntarily cutting back their online activity tracking, has how-tos on limiting the amount of surveillance you allow, stories on how to use IE's privacy filters and how some at Microsoft wanted to limit the incursions, as well as lists of some of the worst offenders.

In just one story (of many) the NYT covers most of those angles and links to even more tools.

Among the tools mentioned are Ghostery and Better Privacy, Firefox add-ons I'd installed but rarely used that, when I fired them up, showed an interesting result.

Of the threatening, deletion-resistant Flash cookies they revealed on in my browser, tracking my trip over to the NYT to read more: two from the Wall Street Journal.

At the WSJ, the "wall" between advertising and editorial clearly still exists; but there are bore-holes through which some of its business partners have snaked cameras watching readers enjoy their rights to privacy and freedom from exploitation.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty .

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This story, "WSJ Warnings About Privacy-Invading Cookies Carry Privacy-Invading Cookies" was originally published by ITworld.

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