The recent discussion about being tracked online is becoming increasingly prevalent. A new survey from a group of Princeton researchers of one million websites crops up new ways companies are using to follow your digital trail. Instead of placing a tracker on your browser, many sites are now “fingerprinting”—using information about your computer such as battery status or browser window size to identify your presence. One of the authors from the Princeton study, Arvind Narayanan, speaks of his research, the latest in online tracking and the world of pervasive surveillance that we are embarking upon.
“Everything that we look at online and click on is getting stored in a database somewhere. And it’s being data-mined and various decisions are being based on that. Targeted advertising is a relatively innocuous example, but there are a variety of other things that can and do happen.There is research that shows that when people know they are being tracked and surveilled, they change their behavior. We lose our intellectual freedom. As we move to a digital world, are we losing those abilities or freedoms? That is the thing to me that is the question. That’s the most worrisome thing about online tracking. It’s not so much the advertising.”
See the full study here.