Ringleader Mediastamp Lawsuit

New York mobile advertising company Ringleader was hit Wednesday with a proposed class action lawsuit over its use of their propriatory mobile cookie technology called Mediastamp. Mediastamp is a HTML5 trick to track iPhone and iPad users across a number of websites.

Ringleader uses HTML5’s client-side database-storage capability as a substitute for the traditional cookie tracking employed by all major online ad companies. Mobile Safari users visiting sites with Ringleader ads are assigned a unique ID number ,which is stored by the browser, and recalled by Ringleader whenever they revisit.

The technology enables frequency capping and user recognition, both of which are needed in the online ecosystem. In the online world, cookies are widely deployed and used. So the reason Ringleader is being suit is not the ability to recognize the user, or the exchange of PII, but the fact that users cannot opt out.

According to Wired Magazine (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/09/html5-safari-exploit/) the tracker, labeled RLDGUID, does not go away when one clears cookies from the browser. In addition, it is reported that users savvy enough to find and delete the database have found it returning mysteriously with the same ID number as before — a result the lawyers suing Ringleader say they’ve reproduced.

HTML5’s database storage is a highly touted feature designed to allow websites to locally store data on the user’s computer — a boon for offline use of a browser app. The HTML5 local storage feature lets sites store certain types of data on your hard drive for quicker access later on. For example, a Webmail service could use this feature to store some of your inbox data on your hard drive, so that when you visit your Webmail inbox, it’ll load more quickly.

my phone with ringleader mediastamp cookie

my phone with ringleader mediastamp cookie

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