Web user tracking and fingerprinting techniques
Initially, HTTP cookies were the primary technique used by advertising companies to track user behaviour on-line, but cookies are easily detected, and they can be just as easily blocked or removed by the users.
Over the last decade, many new HTML5 features have served, frequently as a side effect of their primary purpose, to uniquely track and fingerprint users across different websites in order to detect their behavioral patterns.
- Good old HTTP cookies, with very long life-time (over a year) and set by popular third-party aggregators
- One-pixel images
- HTML5 localStorage
- Adobe LSO (Local Shared Object)
- Web beacons
- CANVAS fingerprinting
- Web font fingerprinting
- WebGL fingerprinting
- Battery API fingerprinting
- Audio fingerprinting
- WebRTC local IP detection
For more information see the articles Technical analysis of client identification mechanisms as well as the Evercookie project.
WebCookies is currently able to detect most, if not all, of these fingerprinting and tracking techniques and document them in the final website report as well as provide overview of their usage across the web.