Krishna Dagli writes to mention an article at the Guardian site about an increasing interest in the possibility of identifying users by their 'clickprint'
, or online access habits. The article discusses a new paper on online identification
written by two American professors. The piece posits that not only is nailing down individual users by their habits useful for advertisers looking to sell products, it may be possible to use this information to flag stolen identities. From the article: "'Our main finding is that even trivial features in an internet session can distinguish users,' Padmanabhan told the Wharton Review. 'People do seem to have individual browsing behaviors.' The duo found that anywhere from three to 16 sessions are needed to identify an individual's clickprint ... In one example, they found that from just seven aggregated sessions they could distinguish between two different surfers with a confidence of 86.7%. Given 51 sessions, the confidence level rose to 99.4%."