Adobe Boosts Privacy Protections with Flash Player Update

Adobe released an update to its Flash Player that it says will make it easier for users to manage their online privacy.

Adobe released an update to its Flash Player that it says will make it easier for users to manage their online privacy.

The company released Flash Player Version 10.3 on Thursday. The update to the common rich media player includes support for a new cross platform application program interface (API) for open source data, dubbed ClearSiteData NPAPI, which makes it easier for users of open source browsers like Google Chromes to clear local stored objects, also known as “Flash Cookies,” from their Web browsers.

The announcement follows a release by Google, also on Thursday, that implemented the Flash 10.3 update, allowing Chrome users to take advantage of the new feature. () Adobe said it worked separately with Microsoft to make similar
functionality available in the Internet Explorer Version 8 and Version 9
Web browsers.

Adobe has faced scrutiny over the security of its products, including Adobe Flash and Adobe Acrobat, which are a popular target for malicious hackers. In March, the company pushed out security updates to address a critical hole in Flash Player that was being exploited by malicious hackers on the Internet. In those attacks, Flash files were embedded in Microsoft Excel documents, then attached to phishing e-mail messages.

In a post on the company’s blog, Adobe said the updates go some way towards making Flash easier to manage and secure. In a blog post, the company touted a new Flash Player control panel for Windows, Apple Mac OSX and Linux desktops that allow end users to manage Flash Player settings, including those for Local Shared Objects, as well as cameras and microphones. The new control panel will be accessible from the desktop Control Panel or System Settings feature, Adobe said.

The company also added an auto-update notification for Mac OS X users, which will make it easier for Mac users to know when new updates for Flash are available.

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