I’ve long been aware that I could be identified from anywhere on the globe due to my surfing pattern. Taking a fictional example derived loosely from my own:
1. Each day, citizen X visits a site for a small German soccer club – maybe 100 daily visitors.
2. Then he visits a news site covering a small town in rural Scotland from whence his parents come. Again, a limited readership.
3. After that, he checks out a blog site discussing weather forecast models.
How many people on earth would have those specialised interests? In that combination? In regard to my own surfing habits, I would have to conclude that mine are as unique as my DNA. But at least knowing this gives me some kind of advantage should things take a turn for the worst.
When I read that comment, it immediately rang true. It felt obvious. Simple. As it turns out, he was dead right.
Well done, cryingfreeman.
In my essay about online anonymity, I wrote:
All of the stuff that you do with your normal online persona, you know, online banking, checking email, discussion groups, etc: You can’t do any of that. The second you associate a user profile on a server with your behavior, you’re back to square one. The Matrix has you. You would have to create what the intelligence business calls a legend for your new anonymous online life. You may only access this persona using these extreme communications security protocols. Obviously, you can’t create an agent X persona via your anonymous connection and then log into some site using that profile on your home cable modem connection. To borrow another bit of jargon from the people who do this for real, full time, you must practice compartmentalization.
If that point didn’t sink in then, check this out.
Via: New Scientist:
IF YOU thought you could protect your privacy on the web by lying about your personal details, think again. In online communities at least, entering fake details such as a bogus name or age may no longer prevent others from working out exactly who you are.
That is the spectre raised by new research conducted by Microsoft. The computing giant is developing software that could accurately guess your name, age, gender and potentially even your location, by analysing telltale patterns in your web browsing history. But experts say the idea is a clear threat to privacy – and may be illegal in some places.
…analytical software could use a vast range of such profiles to perform a probabilistic analysis of a person’s browsing history.
…experts say the idea is a clear threat to privacy – and may be illegal in some places.
…”They are arguably committing offences in a number of countries under a number of different laws if they make available software that defeats the security procedures internet users deploy to protect their privacy – from export control laws to anti-hacking laws.”
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