Apple fanboys who loyally have followed Steve Jobs’ obsession with HTML 5 are being rewarded with a cookie.
The downside is that the cookie, which was designed for HTML 5, refuses to die no matter how many times you try and delete it.
Apparently it was put there by an outfit called Ringleader Digital, and is a special HTML 5 “cookie” that operates completely out of sight from the fanboys.
Ringleader Digital is a mobile advertising company which offers a targeted service for its clients. Apparently the RLDGUID thing stands for Ring Leader Digital Globally Unique ID.
The outfit claims that it only collects “non-personally identifiable information, such as browser identifiers, session information, device type, carrier provider, IP addresses, unique device ID, carrier user ID and web sites visited.”
Given that IP addresses are considered identifiable evidence in a P2P piracy case we are not sure we would agree on that one. If you have all this information, finding out your name would not be tricky.
Ringleader Digital uses Safari databases under iOS in order to ensure that users can be tracked forever.
What is amusing is “Safari databases” are part of Jobs’ obsession with HTML 5. Basically they allow you to store data on your machine via Web SQL for later. The idea is also used on Opera and Chrome. Currently Ringleader Digital doesn’t use the local storage but it could when ever it likes.
The thing is that if you are a comparatively clever fanboy who does not want to give an advertising agency all the information about yourself it can take, you can’t delete RLDGUID as it has some protection.
It is not clear how it does this, it is possible that it has stored enough data off site to reinstall itself the next time you use Safari. Or it might have another cookie stored somewhere else on your computer.
The only way to stop them is to turn off Safari databases by setting the file size drop-down to “none,” but Steve insists that you can’t turn them off on the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
Ringleader Digital’s privacy page claims that that users can opt out “for life” from the company’s tracking if you point your mobile device’s Web browser at http://tinyurl.com/RLDOPTOUT.
This deletes your past history but Ringleader Digital recreate the cookies and Safari databases with a new persistent RLDGUID.
Other Apple fanboys have spotted another database which could explain why Steve Jobs is so keen to keep everything running nicely for the HTML5 zombie cookies. They found a similar database to RLDGUID named QWAPI – Quattro Wireless API. The owner of Quattro Wireless, since the beginning of the year, is one Apple, Ars points out.
All this is a great tin foil hat plan. But Steve wouldn’t be conducting his entire campaign to speed up the adoption of HTML 5 just so his new advertising outfit can install its zombie advertising cookies onto security illiterate fanboy computers. Steve loves his users and would never force them to do something they don’t want to do.