Trac(k)ers on the web

Julia Rebstein, a student from the GymInf program, just finished and presented her project “Trace(r)s on the web – Julia Rebstein“. In it, she explains how different types of cookies work, and looks at a 1-week sample of browsing sessions from 10 persons.

Under the supervision of Linus Gasser and Sandra Siby, Julia put together a simple but thorough explanation of tracers on the web. She looks at Cookies and Fingerprinting and explains how they work and what happens if we avoid them. The most interesting part of her work is her study of real-world traffic: 10 persons installed a plugin in their browser and let Julia look at all the cookies found in this traffic.

Interestingly enough, always clicking “No” on the famous “Allow Cookies?” question, does help. A bit. You’ll get about half as many cookies as those who click “Yes” to this question. And for some ads this is already enough so you won’t see them.

She ends her report with a proposal for a 4 hours session with high-school students. As she already tried it out with one class of students, she has feedback of what works and what doesn’t.

There is much more in her report, so go and check it out!