Update on the issue of ‘supercookies’ used on MSN

Posted by sumeethevans on August 23 2011, 3:24 AM. Posted in MSN.

In response to recent attention on "supercookies" in the media, we wanted to share more detail on the immediate action we took to address this issue, as well as affirm our commitment to the privacy of our customers. According to researchers, including Jonathan Mayer at Stanford University, "supercookies" are capable of re-creating users' cookies or other identifiers after people deleted regular cookies. Mr. Mayer identified Microsoft as one among others that had this code, and when he brought his findings to our attention we promptly investigated.

We determined that the cookie behavior he observed was occurring under certain circumstances as a result of older code that was used only on our own sites, and was already scheduled to be discontinued. We accelerated this process and quickly disabled this code. At no time did this functionality cause Microsoft cookie identifiers or data associated with those identifiers to be shared outside of Microsoft. We are committed to providing choice when it comes to the collection and use of customer information, and we have no plans to develop or deploy any such "supercookie" mechanisms.

Microsoft has strong privacy standards that govern the development and deployment of our products and services. We work hard to build privacy into products, and we also engage with government, industry, academia and public interest groups to develop more effective privacy and data protection measures.

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