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    V3.co.UK: ENISA warns on cookie security threats

    V3.co.UK reports on a warning (pdf) from ENISA, the European Union’s security agency, about new type of computer cookie that could pose a serious security threat.

    So-called ‘Bittersweet’ cookies are one of the main threads in the agency’s latest report, and are a new type of advertising tool which could be ripe for exploitation and subversion if left unchecked.

    The ENISA Privacy, Accountability and Trust report said that the advertising market has led and supported a drive for new all-pervasive cookies that are particularly stubborn and powerful, and that these privacy-invasive profiling and marketing tools are often used without consent. […]

    ENISA found that cookies, which were once just used to facilitate browser/server interaction, had grown into an altogether different beast and are used for “other purposes”.

    Cookies are being used for advertising management, profiling and tracking, and there is a great opportunity for abuse and misuse, according to ENISA, which called on the industry to be more open and transparent about its activities. […]

    Another suggestion is that it should be made easier for internet users to manage their cookies, and to remove individual mechanisms and opt out of receiving cookies altogether.

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