It’s time again for our biweekly meeting. We’ll be meeting at Rudolphs Bar-B-Que again starting at 18:30 (6:30 p.m.).
On January 24th we discussed browser fingerprinting. For those who missed that meeting, browser fingerprinting is the act of using information your browser provides to websites in an attempt to build a unique profile on you. One of the recommended defense against fingerprinting has been to periodically use different browsers. But that may no longer be enough. Much like the history of Russia, the history of browser fingerprinting can best be summed up by saying it got worse. A new development in browser fingerprinting enables advertisers to track you across browsers:
The new technique relies on code that instructs browsers to perform a variety of tasks. Those tasks, in turn, draw on operating-system and hardware resources—including graphics cards, multiple CPU cores, audio cards, and installed fonts—that are slightly different for each computer. For instance, the cross-browser fingerprinting carries out 20 carefully selected tasks that use the WebGL standard for rendering 3D graphics in browsers. In all, 36 new features work independently of a specific browser.
During this meeting we’re going to discuss this new method of fingerprinting and potential methods to defend against it.