Software Shares User IDs with Arbitrary Third Parties
A Closer Look at - Ben Edelman

This page reads and presents your User ID.




Privacy Implications software provides a user's unique user ID to any web page that invokes's simple "GetDeviceID" JavaScript interface. Any web page a user visits can retrieve this ID. In fact, the JavaScript is so straightforward that it can even be embedded within a page element, i.e. a banner ad or a tracking beacon. Via a HTTP POST, invisible frame, or various other methods, such a web page (or page element) can then transmit the user's unique ID to any desired web server.

This page retrieves a user's ID using the specified "GetDeviceID" JavaScript interface. However, this page does not make any further use, copy, or transmission of the user's ID. In particular, this page does not transmit any user ID back to any web server, nor does this page store a user's ID in any other way.

Additional discussion. Screenshot of results on a computer with software.

This page requires Internet Explorer.'s JavaScript interface is available in other browsers, but I have not written the wrapper code necessary to implement this demo in other browsers.