Understanding and Taming the Privacy Footprint

Principal Investigator(s): 
Nick Weaver

Typical Web pages may contain numerous third-party components, ranging from advertisement networks to analytics tools to third-party APIs necessary for page function. All of these components may leak information to third parties about the users' current activity. We are attempting to quantify this information leakage through a policy written in the Bro IDS. Preliminary analysis paints a bleak picture, as more than 1 percent of all HTTP requests observed by ICSI users are deliberately leaking information just through Google Analytics alone. We are also attempting to develop Web browser extensions that can preserve API functionality while removing information leakages.

Funding provided by NSF grant 1015835, TC: Small: Understanding and Taming the Web's Privacy Footprint.