KU Leuven-iMinds researchers provided an advance notice of their discovery of the growing use of browser fingerprinting (device fingerprinting) as a secret user tracking method in an Oct. 10, 2011, press release. The announcement is in advance of a planned presentation of the researcher’s solution to the problem at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security in Berlin, Germany from Nov. 4, 2013, through Nov. 8, 2013.
The researchers looked at the top 10,000 internet sites as measured by the number of user visits and found that 1.5 percent of those sites use device fingerprinting to collect the properties of computers, smartphones, and tablets in order to identify users and track them.
Every digital device has a unique fingerprint that allows tracking using browser fingerprinting that is at present legal.
Some of the Flash objects have sufficient information stored with them to reveal the user’s IP address when they are using a proxy.
Browser fingerprinting can track your device and what you do with the device even if you invoke the “Do Not Track” HTTP header function in your browser.
There are 16 companies selling browser fingerprinting functions at present according to the researchers.
The computer geeks have developed a solution to the browser fingerprinting predicament that identifies sites that use device fingerprinting. The download can be had for free at this site.