Second, Adobe has been working with the folks at Firefox and Chrome to come up with a uniform method for browsers to find out if there's private data being squirreled away by a plug-in (such as Flash) and, if such data exists, for the browser to clear it. The so-called NPAPI:ClearSiteData spec allows the browser to acquire a list of all of the sites that have provided data being stored by a plug-in. It also specifies a single function call that zaps all of that data.
Mozilla and Adobe have officially approved the spec, and it looks like Firefox will soon have the ability to delete all of the data being stored by a plug-in -- most notably, the data stored by sites using Flash cookies, er, LSOs. Presumably, at some point in the not-too-distant future, Firefox will have an option that allows you to delete Flash cookies (much as it now has the ability to delete cookies for individual websites) en masse.
As yet, there's been no official acknowledgement from Google about Chrome support, although Adobe promises the feature is coming. It isn't clear if Microsoft was party to the discussions, much less whether IE will suppport the feature.
Third, Adobe promises that some day you'll be able to control Flash cookies directly from within Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Called the Flash Player Settings Manager, the new utility's supposed to integrate with the Windows Control Panel sometime in the first half of this year. (Call me skeptical, but it could happen.) In the interim, Flash says it's improved the weird online program that it's always pushed for adjusting Flash cookie settings. I don't see any difference from the old version: It still sports a bizarre, convoluted interface that doesn't look like it's doing anything. If you want to see what Flash cookies are stored on your system, go to that weird online program and click the second icon from the right -- bet you'll be amazed.
While it's gratifying to know that Adobe has made some progress in protecting our privacy, the company is clearly playing catchup -- at a rather leisurely pace. I still hold out some hope that the Flash Control Panel applet will do what it's supposed to do. But I won't get my hopes up too high.
This article, "Adobe finally promises to help rein in Flash cookies," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog, and for the latest in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.