Privacy: “Zombie Cookie: The Tracking Cookie That You Can’t Kill”
UPDATE: Zombie Cookies Slated to be Killed (via ProPublica)
NOTE: We’ve updated this post with additional info and a response to the article by Turn.com
An online advertising clearinghouse relied on by Google, Yahoo and Facebook is using controversial cookies that come back from the dead to track the web surfing of Verizon customers.
The company, called Turn, is taking advantage of a hidden undeletable number that Verizon uses to monitor customers’ habits on their smartphones and tablets. Turn uses the Verizon number to respawn tracking cookies that users have deleted.
Turn’s zombie cookie comes amid a controversy about a new form of tracking the telecom industry has deployed to shadow mobile phone users. Last year, Verizon and AT&T users noticed their carriers were inserting a tracking number into all the Web traffic that transmits from a users’ phone – even if the user has tried to opt out.
In November, AT&T stopped using the number. But Verizon did not, instead assuring users on its website that “it is unlikely that sites and ad entities will attempt to build customer profiles” using its identifiers.
Read the Complete Article
UPDATE Jan 15, 2014: How Verizon and Turn Defeat Browser Privacy Protections (via EFF)
UPDATE Jan 15, 2014: In Response to ProPublica
See Also: The Turn-Verizon Zombie Cookie (by Jonathan Mayer, via Web Policy Blog)
See Also: Privacy: It’s Time for the Library Community To Speak Up About Verizon and AT&T Use of X-UIDH Header to Track Wireless Web Users (November 5, 2014)
See Also: Learn More About Turn (via Turn.com)
See Also: Turn on Twitter
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.