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EFF in the News

EFF in the News

May 19, 2010
New York Press

Foursquare is only the latest example of America’s fascination with trading away what the Electronic Frontier Foundation calls “locational privacy”—for convenience and safety.

May 19, 2010
One India

"Several companies are already selling products that claim to use browser fingerprinting to help websites identify users and their online activities. This experiment is an important reality check, showing just how powerful these tracking mechanisms are," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted senior EFF technologist Peter Eckersley as saying.

May 19, 2010
Wall Street Journal

"Facebook needs to have a few very simple high-level controls" so users can keep data private, said Peter Eckersley, senior staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The company, he said, should stop acting as if "they have a mission to make all of our private lives public."

May 19, 2010
MediaPost

Four months and 470,161 browsers later, the EFF says it has reached a conclusion: More than eight out of 10 Web browsers, or 84%, have "unique signatures" that can be used to identify them. When browsers had Adobe Flash or Java plug-ins, 94% were "unique and trackable," according to the EFF.

May 18, 2010
San Francisco Chronicle Blog

While connecting a Web site visit to a specific computer cannot pinpoint specific details about a user's identity, the information can be cross-referenced to do so, said EFF senior staff technologist Peter Eckersley.

"The important thing is that these facts alone would not be uniquely identifying, but taken together, combine all this stuff and just about everyone is a beautiful snowflake. But that's not a good thing. That means any Web site could track you by recognizing that combination of characteristics."

May 18, 2010
NBC Bay Area

The San Francisco-based EFF...has posted its entire stock of government files obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests online.

Want documents from the Viacom versus Google case? Got 'em. How about how the FBI's formerly secret plans to wiretap "Voice over IP" phone services like Skype? Yup. Telecom lobbying? Warrentless wiretaps? The PATRIOT Act? All that and more.

May 18, 2010
Network World

Even without cookies, popular browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox give Web sites enough information to get a unique picture of their visitors about 94 percent of the time, according to research compiled over the past few months by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

May 17, 2010
CNET News

"There are implications both for privacy policy and technical design," concludes Eckersley, who believes that the law should treat browser fingerprints as personally identifiable information, which can be subject to greater restrictions. He also recommends that browsers be changed so they send less information about their configuration settings to Web sites.

May 17, 2010
Baltimore Times Blog BaltTech

Chances are the web browser you're using is leaving behind a pretty good "digital fingerprint" that makes it easy for those with an interest (i.e. government snoops, advertisers, et al.) to identify you.

That's the word today from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which said they did an experiment that showed eight out of 10 browsers have "unique, trackable signatures." Browsers with Adobe Flash and Java plug-ins were even MORE identifiable, at a rate of 94 percent.

May 17, 2010
ars technica

Taken together, these bits of data produce a unique "fingerprint" that works even in the absence of cookies or other traditional Web tracking tools. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, concerned about the issue, has just wrapped up its own study on browser fingerprinting, and it finds that even the privacy conscious have made themselves simple to track.

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