Tag Archives: user identity

Leakage of Private Information from Popular Websites is Common, New Study Finds

*Co-Authored by WPI Computer Science Professor Craig Wills, Study Shows that Existing and Proposed Safeguards Against Leakage and Linking of Private Information are Inadequate*

A study of more than 100 popular websites used by tens of millions of people has found that three quarters directly leak either private information o r users’ unique identifiers to third-party tracking sites. The study, co-authored by Craig Wills, professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), also demonstrated how the leakage of private information by many sites, including email addresses, physical addresses, and even the configuration of a user’s web browser—so-called browser fingerprints—could permit tracking sites to link many disparate pieces of information, including browsing histories contained in tracking cookies and the contents of searches on health and travel sites, to create detailed profiles of individuals. (more…)

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