The Atlantic

Your Browsing History Alone Can Give Away Your Identity

Researchers have found a way to connect the dots between people’s private online activity and their Twitter accounts—even for people who have never tweeted.
Source: Yuri Arcurs / Getty

Advertisers would give just about anything to be able to lurk over your shoulder as you browse the internet. They want to know what sites you visit, how you get to them, how long you spend on them, and where you go next—along with as much personal information about you as they can get.

Of course, they don’t have to be in the room to figure any of that out. Dozens of trackers embedded in nearly every website collect information about how you interact with the page, and cookies stored in your browser tell advertisers how often you’ve visited the site before. But the holy grail is the ability to string all

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readSociety
Why Aren't College Students Using Career Services?
One summer, a group of students with research jobs on campus, including myself, met up at a Thai restaurant in our college’s small town. This was our third free dinner of the week. Our school’s career center was hiring a new member for its team and w
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
The Ghost of Chae Chan Ping
A Chinese-exclusion case from the 1880s set a precedent that haunts the legal fight over Trump’s travel ban.
The Atlantic7 min read
The Invasion of the German Board Games
Their peaceful premises and intricate rule systems are changing the way Americans play—and helping shape an industry in the process.