Any Internet user can easily recognize
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Wednesday, 19 May 2010 20:12

For unambiguous identification the user does not need it to log on, do not write him of their cookies - not to do anything that does not like many people concerned about their own safety problems. Just look at the data available to any Web site.


Each person who walks the web, your browser has a unique "fingerprint" and do not even think about it. As shown by research Panopticlick, 84% of Internet browsers, which are online, you can reliably identify. Settings Javascript and Flash, language system, browser version (including build number), browser language - there are many computer options available to explore other sites. Given that the preference for those very much, but people are all different, a set of options for almost every user is unique.

Collecting such data, the site may "recognize" the user, even if it changes or goes cookies from your computer by changing the IP. Potentially it is such "fingerprints" are the sources of the most massive violations of privacy. If the share unambiguously identified 84% of browsers, among the browsers installed on Flash or Java, this share is 94%.

Panopticlick able to find unique identifiers browsers investigating only 8 variables:

  • Name your browser (including build number, OS version, language, installed toolbars, sometimes - other information);
  • Headers HTTP ACCEPT;
  • For information about whether included cookies;
  • Screen Resolution;
  • Time zone;
  • Modules browser versions and their MIME-type;
  • System fonts;
  • For information on supercookies (different expanded analogues cookies, like Flash cookies).

In reality there are more variables - using them, perhaps, will narrow the results and recognize even greater share of browsers.

Some types of custom machines were relatively resistant to the methods of research:
Browsers with disabled Javascript;

  • Computers connected to the anonymous network Tor;
  • Mobile on Android and the iPhone;
  • Corporate computers within one company do not differ from each other (although there are methods that can distinguish and them).

The results of this study indicate that online anonymity is actually unattainable not only in relation to government agencies and special services. Virtually any user can track an arbitrary site - delete cookies will not save. However, these methods can not solve problems that are preventing peace  of Advertisers and others willing to pay per capita data for the user. With the withdrawal of "fingerprints" can distinguish between two users, but can not set them any personal information - benefits, income favorites.

(Source RU:

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