AOL Tracking Cookies

  provider 2 12:09 02 Jul 2007

My A-Squared and SuperAntiSpyware logs consistently show one thing more than any other, AOL tracking cookies. Given that I have to sign on every time I use AOL, why should AOL be so interested in information of this kind?
Is this something else to worry about (as if there wasn`t enough already), or is it just my paranoia showing.

  Diemmess 12:20 02 Jul 2007

Do you? I don't.

Is there no facility to remember your password.

In spite of changing computers, crashing systems and all that sort of fun, I have so seldom had to type my password, that I have to think what it is on the very few times I am asked for it

  provider 2 12:26 02 Jul 2007


There is such a facility and I do use it. Nevertheless I have on press the sign on button to gain access. Having done that what need can there be for this extra information of websites visited?

  provider 2 12:38 02 Jul 2007

What I`m trying to say is what possible business of AOL`s can it be which websites its customers choose to visit?

  Diemmess 13:15 02 Jul 2007

I'm not sure what precisely worries you.

All ISPs (I believe) keep archives of all connections for at least 2 years.
Neither they nor anyone else bothers with the old records unless access becomes necessary for criminal investigation.

I may be incorrect but if it is so, it is something rightly or wrongly we have to accept if we use the net.

You say that you have to click the sign on button each time you go online. Surely everyone does?
You already have to switch on if you want to use your computer.

I usually go online as soon as the computer has booted.
Obviously not always, because I spend much more time with applications that I do surfing.

  provider 2 13:43 02 Jul 2007

Several things here that I would like to answer if you will bear with me for not answering in order.
The first is that using an ethernet connection I can access the net with IE 7, by-passing AOL`s software, but using its connection.
Next, I have no problem with the signing on rigmarole, this being information AOL needs to know for charging purposes etc.
I did not know, however, that ISP`s keep records of connections. We are constantly being told not to divulge any kind of information, yet here is my ISP storing information on which bank I use, which credit card etc, etc. It seems entirely contrary to current security advice.

  provider 2 13:51 02 Jul 2007

Neither they nor anyone else bothers with the old records unless access becomes necessary for criminal investigation.

I think this statement is one that would have security people deeply anxious for it makes a very dangerous and unwarranted assumption.

  Diemmess 14:23 02 Jul 2007

I was trying to avoid getting into ethics rather than sounding glib.
Also I have a silly habit of hearing half a story and then acting on a misunderstanding.

First, I half heard on steam radio a day or two ago some story or concern that ISPs in general either do off their own bat, or are required by law, to keep traffic records for a considerable time.

I "assume" that this is just one more vast store of information officially secure and not available to orginary mortals (Data Protection etc,)depending on the particular country.

I have to agree that no database is totally secure and those who access this one are either of criminal intent, or criminal investigators looking for evidence.

The rest of us must either switch off and leave the real world, or accept that we live in a world that has records of almost everything we do.

This is something which could make a mighty thread in Speaker's Corner.

Bearing in mind my unsuitability as a reliable sort of witness, I don't think I'm "making a dangerous or unwarranted assumption."

  provider 2 15:28 02 Jul 2007


I think there might be a slight misunderstanding here. I make no kind of personal comment whatsoever, nor am I particularly at home in talking about ethics.
My problem is in failing to understand why we are told never to let our guard down yet here are ISPs collecting information and not being held to account.The fact that I am a member of the rhubarb growers association might be of no great use to anyone but I would like to think that that is my business, not my ISP`s.And, as you say, who knows what other information insecurely held by ISPs might be of great interest to criminals?

  provider 2 15:31 02 Jul 2007

As for Speakers` Corner, having had my fingers burnt there on one previous occasion, I don`t go there. Matter of choice, I suppose.

  provider 2 15:41 02 Jul 2007

With regard to the police, I think they have problems enough in getting access to information for they are bound by law. Criminals labour under no such restrictions and it is this also, that concerns me about information held by ISPs.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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