Document Type thesis Author Name Naryshkin, Konstantin URN etd-122310-144743 Title Study on the Leakage of Private User Information Via a Range of Popular Websites Degree MS Department Computer Science Advisors Craig Wills, Advisor Kathryn Fisler, Reader Keywords Personally Identifiable Information Privacy Date of Presentation/Defense 2010-12-13 Availability unrestricted
On the modern web, many sites have third party content, be it through maps, embedded objects, ads, or through other types. Users pay little attention to the source of this content since it is such a common occurrence. Unfortunately, this content can be an avenue for third parties to discover private information about the user. Previous work has found these types of leaks in social networking sites. By logging headers during the usage of 120 sites across 12 major categories, we were able to find leakage of a user’s private information occurring on many other types of popular web sites. We found leakage on 75% of the sites we looked at and at least one instance in each of the categories. Based on the leaks we found, we propose a classification of the types of leakage that can occur via the HTTP header and use this system to analyze our results.
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