Cunning Online Tracking Service That Can't Be Dodged

Posted on: 06/09/2011

Researchers at U.C. Berkeley have discovered that some of the net’s most popular sites are using a tracking service that can’t be evaded — even when users block cookies, turn off storage in Flash, or use browsers’ “incognito” functions.

The service, called KISSmetrics, is used by sites to track the number of visitors, what the visitors do on the site, and where they come to the site from — and the company says it does a more comprehensive job than its competitors such as Google Analytics.

So if a user came to from an ad on Facebook, and then later, using a different browser on the same computer, visited from Google, and then at some point signed up for the premium service, KISSmetrics would be able to tell Hulu all about that user’s path to purchase (without knowing who that person was). That tracking trail would remain in place even if a user deleted her cookies, due to code that stores the unique ID in places other than in a traditional cookie.

Source: Wired | July 29, 2011