Browser fingerprinting

Browser fingerprinting is a technique used by websites to identify and track users based on various unique characteristics of their web browsers and devices. These characteristics can include the user agent string, screen resolution, installed fonts, plugins, time zone, and more. Fingerprinting is often used for analytics, tracking, and targeted advertising.

Browser fingerprinting libraries are sets of code or scripts that facilitate the process of gathering and generating unique fingerprints for each user visiting a website. These libraries typically utilize JavaScript to collect the necessary information from the user's browser.

Some popular browser fingerprinting libraries include:

  • Fingerprintjs2: This library is one of the most well-known fingerprinting solutions. It collects a wide range of information to create a detailed fingerprint of the user's browser.
  • ClientJS: Another popular library that aims to generate a stable and unique fingerprint by collecting various browser attributes.
  • Platform.js: This library focuses on extracting information about the user's device and browser platform.

These libraries are often used by website owners, marketers, and advertisers to track user behavior and create targeted profiles for personalized content delivery. However, it's important to note that browser fingerprinting raises privacy concerns, as users are often unaware that they are being uniquely identified and tracked across different websites.

Browser fingerprinting can be used for legitimate purposes, such as fraud detection and security, but it can also be misused for invasive tracking and user profiling.

Protecting against Browser Fingerprinting

Users who are concerned about their online privacy can take certain measures to mitigate browser fingerprinting:

  1. Use Privacy-focused Browsers: Consider using web browsers specifically designed to enhance privacy and block fingerprinting attempts.
  2. Browser Extensions: Install browser extensions that aim to block or limit fingerprinting scripts from running.
  3. Disable JavaScript: Disabling JavaScript altogether can prevent many fingerprinting techniques, but it may limit the functionality of some websites.
  4. VPN and Proxies: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and proxies can help mask your real IP address, making it harder to track you based on IP.
It's essential for users to be aware of the potential risks associated with browser fingerprinting and take appropriate measures to protect their online privacy.

Hypestat recognises 5 technologies in this category

Market Leaders

Browser fingerprinting