Thursday, September 23, 2010

Can you be tracked by how your browser is configured?

(Via Timebomb 2000)

I remember when I first saw the story in the early part of this year about a methodology for tracking you by the "fingerprint" of your browser--version, plugins and so on.

Now that the EFF has developed a simple test, it's much more interesting and a bit scarier.

I'm unique within the roughly 1.2 million browsers they've tested so far. So much for being careful to stay anonymous.

Edit: I've been experimenting. The first results were with Firefox, so I tried IE, Chrome and Flock, all under Windows. Each one showed a uniquely identifiable profile.

A quick Google suggested using Firefox with the NoScript add-on. Downloaded that and tried it, still had a uniquely identifiable signature. It was probably even easier judging from the report; the level of security NoScript provides is used by less than 1 in 5 people.

I've tried TorButton, which does seem to work, but at the cost of making the browser rather difficult to use. Perhaps living with it long might help.

So in short, no easy solution to the problem.

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