Panopticlick Browser Ident-Key You Didn't Know You Had

Panopticlick is a unique website that pulls the information (that you didn't know you had) about your computer that all websites can see, and then display it for you. Panopticlick tells you how unique your computer is, based on its configuration, which provides the equivalent of a device fingerprint.

When you visit a website, you are allowing that site to access a lot of information about your computer's configuration. Combined, this information can create a kind of fingerprint — a signature that could be used to identify you and your computer. Some companies are already using technology to try to identify individual computers. But how effective would this kind of online tracking be?

EFF is running an experiment to find out. Panopticlick will anonymously log the configuration and version information from your operating system, your browser, and your plug-ins, and compare it to our database of many other Internet users' configurations. Then, it will give you a uniqueness score — letting you see how easily identifiable you might be as you surf the web.

So, I visited the Panopticlick site on my trusty laptop, and here is my result:


(The author's Panopticlick result)

This means that I am very effectively "fingerprinted" when I surf the web. Great.

Philip K. Dick (who else?) wrote about the ident-key in his 1964 book The Penultimate Truth which not only identified the person, but every intellectual source material that person had ever accessed:

"Your ident-key, please," the ruling monad of the archives buzzed. He slid his key into the slot; it registered, and now the ruling monad, after consulting its memory bank, knew and remembered every source item he had ever utilised, and in what sequence; it comprehended the entire pattern of his formal knowledge.

From the archives' standpoint, it now knew him without limit, and so it could declare - or so he hoped - the next point on the graph of his growing, organic, mentation-life. The historic development of him as a knowing entity.
(Read more about the ident-key)

Also, for those who enjoy word origins, "panopticlick" appears to be the mating of Panopticon and "mouse click". A Panopticon is a circular prison designed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham in 1785; the idea is that all prisoners could be observed at all times in their cells from a central guard office by means of simple optics available at the time.

Visit the Panopticlick website and see how unique your device fingerprint is; thanks to Frolix_8 and Metafilter.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/28/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Surveillance ")

Adversarial Patches Trick Computer Vision
'The surveillance cameras can all see it, but then they forget they’ve seen it.' - William Gibson, 2010.

FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.

UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
'... the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.' - Philip K. Dick, 1956.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Skin Electronics Can Show Electrocardiogram
'... the young men in the streets who applied polyimde OLED body film to their bared shoulders.'

Chinese Fern Helps Remediate Arsenic Soil
'Bioengeering had put out a spec report on the long crawly things five months back.'

Skai Air Taxi Costs The Same As Uber
'The air-taxi found its way past and around other ground-cars...'

Neurodevices For Consumers? Neuroethicists (And Philip K Dick) Say 'Caveat Emptor'
'They tried to use it today and it wouldn't work. No colors and no ceph patterns, neither one...'

NASA 3D Printed Habitat Challenge Won By AI SpaceFactory
3D printing - on Mars!

The Future Of Elon Musk's Neuralink
'Cerebral Electromagnetic Emmission Amplification and Relay System — call it artificial telepathy, if you like.'

Researchers Make You Say Anything in Videos
'[It] caused his televised image... to mouth the vowels and consonants beautifully.'

Jeff Bezos Tries Waldoes (Robotic Hands)
'Waldo put his arms into the primary pair before him...'

Asimov and Musk - Boring Company Tunnel vs. Street Race
'There was almost no sound, just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'

Project Dylan - Amazon's Voice-Activated Wearable That Recognizes Human Emotions
Life imitates anime art.

Tesla Diagnoses Itself, Sends Part Request
'Tentacles emerged from the side of the machine and felt puzzledly at the damaged area.'

Lilium Electric Air Taxi Prototype
'The air-taxi found its way past and around other ground-cars...'

Swedes Premiere T-Pod Driverless Electric Truck
'the trucks gulped packages and scurried like beetles...'

HEL TVD Laser System To Be Built By Dynetics Lockheed Martin
'Forthwith flashes of actual flame, a bright glare leaping from one to another, sprang from the scattered group of men.'

Alcarelle Synthetic Alcohol Like Star Trek Synthehol
Bottoms up!

Datagrid Model Generation Perfect For Eternal Cities Of Science Fiction
'... there was enough flexibility to allow for wide variation.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.