Fingerprinting is a major threat to user privacy on the Web. Fingerprinting uses existing properties of your browser like screen size installed add-ons etc. to create a unique or semi-unique identifier which it can use to track you around the Web. Even if individual values are not particularly unique the combination of values can be unique e.g. how many people are running Firefox Nightly live in North Dakota have an M1 Mac and a big monitor etc.

This post discusses a proposal by Google to address fingerprinting called the Privacy Budget. The idea behind the Privacy Budget is to estimate the amount of information revealed by each piece of fingerprinting information called a 8220fingerprinting surface8221 e.g. screen resolution and then limit the total amount of that information a site can obtain about you. Once the site reaches that limit the budget further attempts to learn more about you would fail perhaps by reporting an error or returning a generic value. This idea has been getting a fair amount of attention and has been proposed as a potential privacy mitigation in some in-development W3C specifications.

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News Link: https://blog.mozilla.org/en/mozilla/google-privacy-budget-analysis/.

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