Top Websites Using Audio Fingerprinting to Secretly Track Web Users
Despite browsing incognito, blocking advertisements, or hiding your tracks, some websites monitor and track your every move online using a new web-tracking technique called Audio Fingerprinting
This new fingerprinting technique can be utilized by technology and marketing companies to deliver targeted advertisements as well as by law enforcement to unmask VPN or Anonymous users, without even decrypting the traffic.
Researchers at Princeton University have conducted a massive privacy survey and discovered that Google, through its multiple domains, is tracking users on nearly 80 percent of all Top 1 Million Domains using the variety of tracking and identification techniques.
Out of them, the newest tracking technology unearthed by the researchers is the one based on fingerprinting a machine’s audio stack through the AudioContext API
The AudioContext API is not collecting audio played or recorded on a machine, but rather harvesting the audio signals of the each machine that is then using it to reveal unique browser and device combinations.
The method has nothing to do with the device’s microphone, as it relies on the way a signal is processed.
A third-party tracker uses the AudioContext API to send low-frequency sounds to a user’s computer and then measures how the computer processes the data, creating a unique fingerprint based on the hardware and software capabilities of the user’s computer.