The Washington Post reports:
There’s a tactic spreading across the Web named after treatment usually reserved for criminals: fingerprinting. At least a third of the 500 sites Americans visit most often use hidden code to run an identity check on your computer or phone.
Websites from CNN and Best Buy to porn site Xvideos and WebMD are dusting your digital fingerprints by collecting details about your device you can’t easily hide. It doesn’t matter whether you turn on “private browsing” mode, clear tracker cookies or use a virtual private network. Some even use the fact you’ve flagged “do not track” in your browser as a way to fingerprint you.
Fingerprinting happens when sites force your browser to hand over innocent-looking but largely unchanging technical information about your computer, such as the resolution of your screen, your operating system or the fonts you have installed. Combined, those details create a picture of your device as unique as the skin on your thumb.
Fascinating report. Read it all.