Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Privacy is such an out-moded concept

Listening to:

Bach, Duet in F major, BWV 803, played by Christine Jaccottet.

An argument for NoScript

If you go to this site, you can push a button that gets the site to analyse your browsing history, and then, using some simple statistics on web-site visitor patterns, determine your likely gender.

I had an 89% chance of being male.

You might feel justifiably concerned that your browser was willing to cough up this information. In particular, a remote site could extract this information without requiring you to first push a button. The information probably isn’t linked to you directly because we assume that the browser is only providing history and not any other details. However, if you’ve just signed up to a site with an e-mail address, then there is a link for free.

This leads me to recommend the NoScript extension for Firefox. This gives you much better control of the JavaScript that may or may not be running on your computer.