So, you’ve disabled cookies and run in some form of incognito mode. In most people’s mind, that’s enough to bypass the rampant tracking employed by websites for ad targeting and retargeting. With the Canvas Fingerprint, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In the past, most sites had to use cookies or files sent to your computer. Think of it like a digital tag and you’re released back into the wild. Canvas Fingerprinting does none of this. Instead it employs a hidden image with some text. That becomes your new digital tag, enabling websites to track you.

And if you think it is only the big sites employing this, think again. If you have seen the AddThis social share system, you are already being fingerprinted. The company started using the system earlier this year.

Proponents of the system will hide behind the guise that it is the computer being tracked and not the person. That’s an idiotic argument in that my computer has yet to sprout legs and handle my day-to-day activities. Until it does, this system is all about tracking the user or customer. You cannot run in privacy modes and escape being tracked.

With AddThis being a user, if you’ve browsed pretty much any site with a social share counter, you are getting tracked. Just a note, we use a custom social counter versus AddThis. Even the White House uses the social bar, so if you want to rage against the man, expect the petitions to pop up fast. If Fox News understood technology, I’m sure they would harp on this because of the White House angle.

How Do You Hide

Well, with big brother watching like some awful rendition of 1984, you should go in with the mindset of you are being tracked. There are some ways you can get off the grid, but none are easy. Probably the easiest path is Privacy Badger. It’s a new tool that claims it can avoid Canvas Fingerprint tracking.

Other options jump into the pain in ass arena for the average web user. Options include using Tor. If you can barely operate Netflix, this isn’t the best idea. The Chameleon web browser offers a way to block tracking, but is a hard install.

And to top it off, you could just disable javascript. That would kill most functionality on the websites you traffic. None of these are options that scream user experience.

In the end, it will be up to public outcry to kill the Canvas Fingerprint. If no one shouts loud enough to end the invasive tracking, then it’s here to stay.


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