Cookie-Free Tracking

I am teaching information security this term, so expect more security related content over the next couple of months. First up, if you’re wondering how easily traceable you are on the internet, visit Panopticlick. A project from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the site looks at what unique information it can collect about you via your browser – even if you have cookies off. Based on information like your time zone, your screen size, what fonts your browser has access to, and what plug-ins you have, a “fingerprint” is created for you, and the compared against the fingerprints of all of the other users to try the site so far. My browser tested as unique against the 610,703 tested at the site so far. While that doesn’t prove that my configuration is 100% unique, and certainly most if not all of that information is easily changeable if you are trying to hide, it does suggest that if sites (whether corporate or government) were interested in tracking visitors and sharing information about what people are doing to build up profiles, it would be quite plausible.

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