Monthly Archives: August 2011

Latest in Web Tracking: Stealthy ‘Supercookies’

The Wall Street Journal, Page One

Major websites such as MSN.com and Hulu.com have been tracking people’s online activities using powerful new methods that are almost impossible for computer users to detect, new research shows.

The new techniques, which are legal, reach beyond the traditional “cookie,” a small file that websites routinely install on users’ computers to help track their activities online. Hulu and MSN were installing files known as “supercookies,” which are capable of re-creating users’ profiles after people deleted regular cookies, according to researchers at Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal and see the full What They Know series online.


Device Raises Fear of Facial Profiling

The Wall Street Journal, Page One

With this device, made by BI2 Technologies, an officer can snap a picture of a face from up to five feet away, or scan a person’s irises from up to six inches away.

Dozens of law-enforcement agencies from Massachusetts to Arizona are preparing to outfit their forces with controversial hand-held facial-recognition devices as soon as September, raising significant questions about privacy and civil liberties.

With the device, which attaches to an iPhone, an officer can snap a picture of a face from up to five feet away, or scan a person’s irises from up to six inches away, and do an immediate search to see if there is a match with a database of people with criminal records. The gadget also collects fingerprints.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal and see the full What They Know series online.