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Written by: Eileen Brown on May 10 2011, 1:23pm

Sneaky Silverlight (and Isolated Storage) - Another bad batch of Cookies.

On one hand, the Microsoft Internet Explorer Blog (IEBlog) sends out warm and fuzzy feelings about taking care of LSO cookies (Local Shared Objects, aka “Flash Cookies”) with updates to IE8 and IE9, while the other hand has baked a bad batch that no one wants to eat.

Isolated Storage is yet another mechanism for storing data.  Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 among other applications utilize Isolated Storage.  I. S. is a method for saving data to your computer hard drive without your consent. Before you lose your head over this, there is an out option, you wouldn’t know was there without a little help.

At msdn.microsoft.com the introduction, scenarios and types of Isolated Storage sounds like a good thing.  The bottom line is that they put cookies on your computer that if given a choice, most of us do not want.  Like LSO cookies these are not delete-able through regular channels. OK, so they do give you a choice, at least with Silverlight, but the choice is still not evident. You also will not find directions for this at Microsoft, anywhere.

Here are the instructions to keep Silverlight’s Isolated Storage (cookies) off your own computer.

01 - First you need to open Internet Explorer. This will not work in Chrome or other browsers. ONLY in IE.  So if you are not currently using Internet Explorer, exit your current browser; go there and reopen SoftCity to This Article.

02 - Go to a website that utilizes Silverlight. I went to Project Tuva to make the visual instruction examples below. 

Step 1 Image:  Right click anywhere on the website once it is open. You will see a small box that says “Silverlight” – click on that box.  

Step 2 Image:  You will be presented with 6 tabs. There are essentially four clicks to turn off isolated storage.

1 – Open the Application Storage Tab.  

2 - Click on “Delete all” 

3 - De-select the “Enable application storage” box.  

4 - Click OK.

Step 3 Image:  This window popped up for me but did not come up later when I checked this again.

“Delete application storage for all Web sites?"  Click Yes.  Then click OK.


Step 4 Image:  Just to be sure you got it all, go back and check.  The window should be blank if you followed all the steps.

This protects you from NEW cookies being planted on your hard drive through Isolated Storage (Silverlight).

It was easy to check and see that the window remained blank.  I also checked to make sure that the videos would still run smoothly. You might want to check and make sure they run for you too.  Just to be sure.

More on Isolated Storage.

To be fair IS cookies might fall into the same category as LSO’s with one caveat.  They are not shared with other websites. Like the technology Flash, Silverlight can capture events (behavior), the mouse and keyboard, display graphics and sound support.  Also, Silverlight can display standard video files and those in HD (high definition) and play music files (MP3, WMA). Silverlight supports DRM (Digital Rights Management) . 

Let us say that you visit ten websites today and watch video’s utilizing Silverlight. Each of those websites will have placed individual cookies (as Isolated Storage) on your computer.  However, each instance of cookies being set will only interact with the one website that was visited.  So the information is not shared with the other websites you may have perused.  This makes Isolated Storage fall into a more unique category.

There again, these are not cookies you need to run the website you visited.  They are also not removable through regular channels (i.e. “delete all cookies”).  These cookies report to Microsoft, all your actions only when on the one website.  But who needs that?  I don’t; you don’t, and in all honesty MS doesn’t need this either.  This is just one more way in which you lose control of what you do and where you go on the web, since MS (Big Brother) is watching and logging your every move on any of those websites you visited today, tomorrow and into the future.

Isolated Storage is touted as a security feature.  However, I think I am the best judge of security for my own computer, not some random website and certainly not MS. If you feel the way I do about Isolated Storage, this article might be the only place to find a solution.


See Also: Solutions To Deleting “Flash Cookies” – LSO (Local Shared Objects) mentioned in this article.

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