RSS feed Get our RSS feed

News by Topic

BizReport : Research archives : April 14, 2010

Report: 7% of devices delete flash cookies

New research out from Scout Analytics indicates that as much as 7% of devices are deleting flash cookies. What does it matter? It's another indicator that consumers are being proactive in the protection of their privacy online. The news comes on the heels of another announcement: Scout researchers found in February that standard HTTP cookie user counts are overestimated as much as four times over.

by Kristina Knight

scoutanalytics.jpgIn mid-2009, the Flash cookie deletion rate was only 3%, according to Scout researchers.

"Publishers and ad networks have increased their use of Flash cookies," said Matthew Shanahan, senior vice president of strategy for Scout Analytics. "Our findings indicate an early but growing awareness of Flash cookies and how to manage them, making it only a matter of time before their error rate cannot be overlooked."

Flash cookies are stored on devices and then used to track consumer information such as stores visited, time on-site or pages visited. Using this behavioral information to target consumers is a popular way to engage and convert the consumer. A recent study from the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) showed that behavioral targeting can double campaign revenue.

While that is a positive, this study shows behavioral targeting may only work within flash cookies for a little while. If consumers delete the cookies, the information provided will be inaccurate.

"Despite the obvious privacy concerns associated with the use of Flash to reset deleted browser cookies I more or less expected few consumers to actually be taking any action," said Eric T. Peterson, web analytics consultant and founder of Web Analytics Demystified. "Scout Analytics finding that the rate of Flash LSO deletion has doubled in the past nine months and currently hovers around seven percent is surprising evidence that a segment of consumers are taking action to aggressively protect their identity online."

According to Scout's research because of the 7% deletion rate the action 'unique devices' metrics provided to many marketers is off by up to 15% during typical monthly cycles.

Tags: behavioral targeting, cookies, flash cookies, NAI, online advertising, Scout Analytics

Subscribe to BizReport



Copyright © 1999- BizReport. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of BizReport content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
BizReport shall not be liable for any errors in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.