EFF kicks off browser tracking project

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EFF kicks off browser tracking project

Analyse traffic monitoring techniques.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a project designed to catalogue browser use and behaviour.

The new Panopticlick service will gather data in a method similar to those used by web tracking services, anonymously generating system data based on criteria such as browser and operating system.

The EFF hopes to build a database that can be used to monitor the tracking systems used for marketing and traffic analysis.

"They develop these methods in secret, and don't always tell the world what they've found," EFF technologist Peter Eckersley said in a blog post.

"But this experiment will give us more insight into the privacy risk posed by browser fingerprinting, and help web users to protect themselves."

Panopticlick will also seek to educate users on the sort of information that can be gathered when visiting a web site. The service will offer to create a profile for each user based on criteria which can be gathered solely from the browser.

"When you visit a web site, you are allowing that site to access a lot of information about your computer's configuration," said Eckersley.

"Combined, this information can create a kind of fingerprint, a signature that could be used to identify you and your computer."

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