Sunday, October 12, 2014

Netiquette IQ Technical Term of The Day - Persistent Identification Element



  Definition is from whatis.com 

persistent identification element (PIE)
Persistent identification element (PIE) is a method of individually tagging users’ browsers for the purposes of identification and tracking.
PIE was discovered in a 2009 study,” Flash Cookies and Privacy,” which demonstrated cookies that were reappearing (respawning) after deletion. The paper revealed that 50 percent of the top 100 most popular websites used PIE to tag individual user’s browsers with a unique identifier that – unlike ordinary HTTP cookies -- cannot be easily deleted.
PIE uses a combination of JavaScript and Flash to create this tracking substitute, which is stored as a Flash cookie (also known as a locally stored object). The method makes it possible for deleted HTTP cookies to be respawned from stored data associated with the unique identifier.
 Adobe has included the option to delete and deny LSO in newer versions of Flash. However, default settings are to allow LSOs without prompting. In effect , the relative obscurity of the settings ensures that most people will not access them, leading to increased user tracking for firms and less privacy protection for users.
As with many security measures, there is a convenience versus functionality trade off:  On gaming sites, changing the default behavior of Flash for LSOs may lose game progress; on other websites, doing so may disable persistent personalization elements on Flash-based sites.
Other strong methods of avoiding browser tracking include browsing from a virtualized environment with a regularly restored snapshot or from a LiveDistro, an operating system stored on some bootable medium.
PIE was created by the online user tracking / advertising firm United Virtualities. 
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In addition to this blog, I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, "Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 www.amazon.com/author/paulbabicki


 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via paper.li.I have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ Rider University and  PSG of Mercer County New Jersey.

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