Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 22nd Jul 2014 08:49 UTC
Internet & Networking

A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.com.

First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor's Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user's device a number that uniquely identifies it.

Advertising companies will become increasingly... 'Creative' to find some way of tracking us that circumvents known laws and technological barriers. However, I doubt you have to worry about the small fish - worry about what the biggest internet advertising company in the world has cooking in its labs.

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RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by oskeladden on Tue 22nd Jul 2014 23:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
oskeladden
Member since:
2009-08-05

Fascinating, and worse than I expected. With Javascript enabled, I was told:

Your browser fingerprint appears to be unique among the 4,323,691 tested so far.


With Javascript disabled (my usual configuration), I was told:

Within our dataset of several million visitors, only one in 540,462 browsers have the same fingerprint as yours.


Which I guess means I'm one of eight visitors to their website with my configuration.

I usually have my browser deliver a random user-agent, which should also throw fingerprinting off a bit. But this, now, is an example of tracking that really is very hard to fight.

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