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Posts: 902
Registered: ‎06-20-2014

Meet the Online Tracking Device That is Virtually Impossible to Block

Update: A spokesperson said that the website was "completely unaware that AddThis contained a tracking software that had the potential to jeopardize the privacy of our users." After this article was published, YouPorn removed AddThis technology from its website. This story was co-published with Mashable. 


by Julia Angwin ProPublica, July 21, 2014,


A new kind of tracking tool, canvas fingerprinting, is being used to follow visitors to thousands of top websites, from to YouPorn.


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.


Like other tracking tools, canvas fingerprints are used to build profiles of users based on the websites they visit — profiles that shape which ads, news articles, or other types of content are displayed to them. But fingerprints are unusually hard to block: They can’t be prevented by using standard Web browser privacy settings or using anti-tracking tools such as AdBlock Plus.


The researchers found canvas fingerprinting computer code, primarily written by a company called AddThis, on 5 percent of the top 100,000 websites.


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Posts: 4,907
Topics: 2,634
Kudos: 4,856
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Registered: ‎06-02-2014

New cookie-free way to fingerprint and track your computer: Make it draw images

Comment: This is a new twist on tracking our privacy for sure it is a canvas fingerprinting technique which can track your fingerprints accross the web.....Whats next !!!



By Darren Pauli, 22 Jul 2014


A persistent web tracking mechanism developed by academics has been used to track web users across many of the world's most popular websites, including those of the White House and even wholesale smut barn YouPorn.

The canvas fingerprinting technique was described in 2012 by University of California researchers (PDF) as a means to silently track the web sites users visit.


Surveilled users watched over by canvas attacks cannot defend themselves by clearing the tracking mechanism by normal browser flushing nor guard against infection using apps like AdBlock Plus


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