I no longer work on the Firefox extension called ‘Objection’. An updated version, renamed to Better Privacy, is available from Mozilla here. Sometimes it takes Mozilla a while to add new updates for an extension – so if you’re looking for the latest version, it can be found here.
Objection was an extension that deleted Local Shared Objects (LSOs), also known as ‘Flash cookies’. This browser-side storage, used by Adobe’s Flash, isn’t as well-known as regular cookies, and since the browser doesn’t contain built-in tools for Flash deletion, items stored there aren’t as easy to delete. Many companies therefore get around the ‘user deleting cookies’ issue by keeping a copy of the information as an LSO, and repopulating the cookie – a process known as ‘respawning’ – after the original cookie has been deleted. Bypassing user intent like this is scummy. This August 2009 article in Wired explains the issue nicely.
I developed Objection back when Firefox was much younger, as a side project back when I was a product manager at NexTag. I’m terrible at programming now, and I was absolutely atrocious then. An iteration to Firefox – the jump to the 1.0 version, I think – wiped out all the hooks I was using to add LSO deletion as an option to the control panel that let you remove private data, and I became completely stuck, so I stopped developing it. For a while, I felt vaguely guilty about this – until a couple of assholes wrote in with some rants about what a terrible person I was for not keeping the project up to date. Then I stopped feeling guilty.
My many thanks to the skilled developers who took my god-awful, hobbled-together code and converted it to something real.