Did you know even you are in incognito mode, browsing behaviour can be still be tracked by canvas fingerprinting

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The canvas element in HTML5 is on attribute to be used fingerprinting, namely “canvas fingerprinting”. This attribute will write and read an image while rendering the web page. As the value of a retrieved image provides a unique characteristic of the user operating system that is sufficient enough to be used for identification of a web browser. [1]

Block canvas fingerprint completely is not an good idea as well. Just like User-Agent. Since most of browsers has canvas fingerprint, if one doesn’t, it actually makes it easier to identifying that specific browser.

Change the canvas fingerprint frequently is also too obvious since most browsers don’t change it frequently or never changes.

The last resort will be change the canvas fingerprint with longer period of time rather than change it every 10 minutes etc. daily or weekly can be better, although it may not increase any kind of anonymity, or we can manually switch the canvas fingerprint when necessary, e.g. when new identity is necessary.

Nowadays, many browsers are compatible with plugins. We can install plugins to achieve manual switch of canvas fingerprint easily.

Warning: These techniques won’t help to achieve full anonymity. Only used for fight against canvas fingerprinting .(and still not 100% effective)

To achieve better anonymity, there are a lot more things we need to take care about e.g. IP address, email address etc.

Tools

Here are some tools we can use to check our canvas fingerprint and other privacy/tracking related matters associated with browsers.

browserleaks.com

Browserleaks – Canvas fingerprint

Resources

[1] S. Luangmaneerote, E. Zaluska, and L. Carr, “Survey of existing fingerprint countermeasures,” in 2016 International Conference on Information Society (i-Society), 2016: IEEE, pp. 137-141.


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