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I’m observing very same behavior. Flash player is known to conduct quite questionable practice of storing cookie like information on user’s PC without adequately informing them about it (who really knows about those browser based settings - ?). Since most privacy oriented people delete cookies new days, Flash incorporated another more sneaky method which allows nosy companies accomplish what pretty much third party tracking cookies do (which very few people are aware of).
Before Falsh was purchased by Adobe they have been nailed for doing it and at some occasion I read somewhere online former Flash CEO’s stating as “they care, inform their customers of consequences and leaving choices to them”
Because Flash context can be used as part of page or application which depends on it (for instance Yahoo Massager does for its audiables and emoticons), I bet someone implemented mechanism which auto restore it’s settings as soon as they being changed back to original (which than begs for question is it really legal?). This way you can be quietly spied on even if you delete or block cookies without ever knowing, even after you took explicit step to ensure you are not.
Will investigate further and make post on GRC forum. Creator of GRC – Steve Gibson has long history of fighting for Internet users privacy rights which resulted in litigation of major names Internet businesses in past: Netscape Navigator, AOL and Real One Player:
If you don’t like being spied on – simply uninstall it, never use it again and pray it didn’t left God knows what else on your PC without you knowing. Also don’t buy any big name companies statement ensuring that they care about your privacy. That’s what Netscape, AOL and Real One Player did before they were sued (read links above)
For anyone who reads this, or seeks solution to same problem here is continuation how it all ended:
As promised I have made post on GRC forum:
Thanks to “Mark V” and “Mister Hucker” replies from GRC – mystery of resetting Flash settings has been solved!
Despise fact that Flash settings are adjustable through web page only, settings files are stored locally on computer in following location:
C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR NAME\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player
To find it you can type following string into “Run”:
%userprofile%\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\macromedia.com\support\flashplayer\sys\settings.sol
To make sure settings are being saved and remember by Flash Player it is important TO NOT DELETE files above. File can be deleted both while adjusting settings through webpage or by number of cleaning programs – including CCleaner which I personally use. If file is deleted Flash simply will not remember it’s own settings.
Referring to original post, even part referring to storing cookie like information by Flash Player is still valid – mystery of player not remembering it’s settings has been solved.
Guessing I might have caught attention of people which read story in original post:
GRC home page: http://www.grc.com/
To make posts on GRC forums or read Steve Gibsons posts see this:
Steve Gibson's weakly "Security Now" voice auditions: