User tracking beyond cookies

Cookies as one means of tracking users are known to almost everybody now at least by name. Scientists at Microsoft Research in Silicon Valley recently have found a way to track users which lets cookies seem to be very old-fashioned as Technology Review reports (german link). Using this new method it is determined whether the IP of a user belongs to her working place, or her home computer or her traveling laptop. This is achieved using statistical models created out of log files and software update and email services (see: http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/139079/hotnets10.pdf). Even though this technique is not widely used yet it is just a matter of time until this is going to change as the user itself cannot configure her web browser or email client properly to avoid this kind of tracking in the same way as this may be done e.g. with cookies. However, the user is by no means helpless against this new way of getting tracked as she can deploy anonymization services like JonDonym which reliably protects her against that threat.

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  1. G says:

    Really great that it doesn't sound worrisome, however, your post doesn't show how JonDonym could protect her over the internet? Thank you though! (:

  2. Anonymous says:

    The tracking method explained in the blog posting needs the true IP of a user. But this IP is hidden by JonDonym as it anonymizes it.

  3. Anonymous2 says:

    It seems everyone always uses "he" by default or else the more awkward "he or she" if trying to be politically correct. Thanks for using "she". It's refreshing to see that. Oh, and thanks for making JonDonym.


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