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Mobile Safari's default cookies settings changing randomly

As nonscandalous as something like "cookies" can sound, it appears that Google's privacy settings circumvention practices could be linked to a bug in Mobile Safari on some iPhones.


Earlier this week it was found that Google had been overriding privacy settings for several Internet browsers, including Apple's Safari and Microsoft's Internet Explorer, in order to display its Google+ buttons in advertisements.

Now, according to a couple Apple Communities support forum threads (one, two), using Google products on Mobile Safari may be related to a bug that changes a user's "Accept Cookies" settings.

But, despite reports from many users saying the problems with Mobile Safari were in relation to the use of their Gmail accounts and the odd coincidence that Google is in the news for circumventing cookies settings, there does not appear to be any evidence linking Google's privacy settings dodging practices with the bug that randomly resets a user's "Accept Cookies" setting to "Never."

At least not intentionally.

I attempted to re-create the resetting issue using as many of the scenarios described in the forums as I could recreate. I never had the issue occur on my iPhone 4, nor an iPhone 4S. That, of course, does not mean that the bug is not an issue. Forum users suggest that disabling Safari Bookmark syncing via iCloud could help alleviate the issue.

Others think the problem could be a result of Exchange account certificates being installed by your IT department. If you use Exchange to access your e-mail or accounts using Mobile Safari, check with your administrators to see if they are adjusting your settings.

If that fails to help with the problem, follow the three Rs: reset, restore (from your backup), restore again (as a new device). Once you've gone through all that and you're still seeing your settings get changed, it could be that you are at the mercy of the waiting game. Several people have reported submitting a bug report to Apple on the issue that could be fixed with the next update to iOS 5.

We will keep an eye on the cookies issue as it relates to Mobile Safari and the ongoing Google story and let you know if anything comes of it. In the meantime, have you experienced the "Accept Cookies" setting on your iPhone randomly resetting to "Never"? Let me know your experience in the comments!