The Electronic Frontier Foundation today warned that more than 80 percent of browsers reveal identifiable “fingerprints” that could allow a user’s Web surfing to be tracked. The privacy watchdog urged that greater attention be paid to this by the public and policy makers.
The results are based on an experiment EFF conducted with volunteers who visited this site – called Panopticlick – and allowed their browsers to be tested.
From the EFF press release:
The website anonymously logged the configuration and version information from each participant’s operating system, browser, and browser plug-ins — information that websites routinely access each time you visit — and compared that information to a database of configurations collected from almost a million other visitors. EFF found that 84% of the configuration combinations were unique and identifiable, creating unique and identifiable browser “fingerprints.” Browsers with Adobe Flash or Java plug-ins installed were 94% unique and trackable.