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Canvas Fingerprinting: a web-tracking technique that's nearly impossible to block

By Himanshu Arora · 7 replies
Jul 23, 2014
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  1. Researchers at Princeton and Belgium's KU Leuven have found a new, extremely persistent type of web-tracking technique that's being used on around 5% of the top 1000 sites on the Internet, including Whitehouse.gov, YouPorn, and more. Dubbed Canvas Fingerprinting, the...

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  2. So the image is rendered virtually or stored on the server itself? Obviously blocking images would prevent it, unless they're using the term loosely and it is another type of file. Of course if that was the case it could likely be blocked by identifying that file type. Now I'm very interested in how to circumvent this. Going to do research!!
  3. NoScript prevents it. Simple enough.
  4. Actually a better solution is Privacy Badger by EFF for Firefox and Chrome. It blocks third party cookies and scripts from tracking you. While not 100%, it should be quite effective in preventing this type of tracking since it uses a script to force your browser to draw the image.
  5. I think you don't understand what is meant by the image rendering.
    It is not really an jpeg image but a calculation done by the client (iphone, pc, mac, galaxy tab,...) which results in a vector drawing.
    This calculation is done in an unique way on each device, what I personally don't believe. Anyway researchers say it works. So each device can be tracked on an unique way.

    This technique is analogue to tracking by gyroscopes and compass in mobile devices. Apparently it is possible to discover small calibration differences in those sensors between the same lets say iphone type.

    Privacy is history... Unless you disable scripting ans use a typewriter.
  6. Isn't it ironic that all these tracking companies say if you just put a cookie on your system we will not track you. So by putting a uniquely identified file will stop you from being tracked, ya right....
  7. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,519   +513

    So the last paragraph says that they are considering winding things down because the results are "not uniquely identifying enough." Either that is the truth, which I suspect, or the real answer is that the tech is classified and they cannot say how effective it is.
  8. Just generated ID's on two different work computers and I got the exact same ID. So who knows how accurate it really is...

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