Short Bytes: A team of German researchers shared that an individual’s secret web history and habit can be traced. Surprisingly, even after it goes under anonymity, it can be revealed. Security experts Svea Eckert and Andreas Dewes did their research with 3 million Germans, out of which some were public personalities.
You think nobody will get to know about your browsing patterns since you have deleted your web history? Let me then inform you about the latest findings by a team of German Researchers who claims that anything browsed even under anonymity can be unearthed.
The information discovered was presented at the DefCon Hacking Conference in Las Vegas. Two of the Security Experts, Svea Eckert and Andreas Dewes were successful in learning the browsing schedule and habits of about 3 million Germans. The experts were even able to realize the web habits of famed public personalities like judges and politicians etc.
Taking help from 10 popular browser extensions, the team gathered data about browser history from the help of companies that gather ‘clickstreams.’
Though browsing history is something to be kept anonymised and personal, it is used to tailor marketing campaigns. The duo found that 95% of the data they drew belonged to the 10 most popular browser extension.
“What these companies are doing is illegal in Europe but they do not care,” said Eckert. As part of the finding, the sites and links browsed were connected to an individual customer identifier. By referring to the list, it was possible to find out the individual web usage background. For example, videos or blog posts or any news article and other such similar things users watched or visited.
Mr. Dewes said that it was even easy to reveal the name of the user as the ‘clickstream’ could open the links to the user’s personal account.
“The public information available about users is growing so it’s getting easier to find the information to do the de-anonymisation,” he said.
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