Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Verizon fined for misuse of "super-cookies" that violate net neutrality transparency rules

The FCC has fined Verizon $1.35 for implementing “super cookie” tracking outside of the legal practice of “opt-in”.  The Verge has a story by Jacob Kastrenakes.

The super-cookie could supersede normal cookie deletion and “do not track” settings.  An advertising company called “Turn”  had developed a way to “repawn” traditional cookies.

Jon Brodkin writes in Ars Technica that the super-cookies violated net neutrality transparency rules  . Andrea Peterson has a story in the Washington Post, p. A15, here.

The technology could conceivably create a security hazard and allow people to be stalked.

The issue is a bit disturbing because Verizon hotspots are particularly useful when traveling, or when normal cable is down.  I have been having some trouble accessing Google products efficiently with Xfinity lately and sometimes use the Verizon hotspot on my iPhone instead.  It seems that the connection is better when logged on to Xfinity for streaming services, and I’m not sure if this finding would be completely compliant with net neutrality rules now.

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