The Flash Player 10.3 update, released Thursday, lets users manage Flash cookies using their browser's privacy settings or through a new control panel. Flash cookies, also called "Local Stored Objects," have been a sore spot for Adobe users since 2009, when they were being used extensively to track Web surfers. The problem is that Flash cookies historically have been hard to remove, unlike traditional cookies, and some sites have used them to track users who have wanted to block cookies.
Cookies are small snippets of text, stored on the computer, that websites use to identify repeat visitors.
"Users could manage the [Flash cookies] before, however, the experience was not exactly the most user-friendly," Adobe spokeswoman Wiebke Lips said via e-mail.
The new Flash cookie management option will work with the Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers. In the future, it will also be available to Chrome and Safari users, according to Adobe.
Although there are still plenty of privacy issues on the Web, Adobe's update is good news, said Seth Schoen, a senior staff technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation who . "I'm glad Adobe is addressing this in a comprehensive way," he said in an e-mail message. "It's a shame that it's taken such a long time, but it's good that it's finally happened."