Your porn browsing history isn’t so secret after all

20 Oct 20159 Shares

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An eight-month-old blog post on the insecurity of users’ internet use has recently emerged as a major warning to people who have viewed porn online this year. Your browsing, it seems, could be revealed to all at any moment.

Software engineer Brett Thomas wrote of a potential privacy scandal as far back as last February, claiming that online porn viewing in 2015 is a disaster waiting to happen.

A four-pronged threat to your browsing history includes browser footprints, global identifiers, user tracking and hacking.

“At any time, somebody could post a website that allows you to search anybody by email or Facebook username and view their porn browsing history”
– BRETT THOMAS, SOFTWARE ENGINEER

Your browser, even in incognito mode, leaves plenty of information trails from your computer to whatever site you are viewing.

Linking your moves from site to site is simple, claimed Thomas, with pretty much all websites set up to save “enough data to link your user account to your browser fingerprint, either directly or via third parties”.

All it takes is one hacker who wants to cause mischief and the above web trails will allow for the creation of a website that reveals all.

Facebook, usernames and major reveals

“If a malicious party obtained identifiable access logs for just one of the websites that knows your name, and viewed logs for just one of the adult websites you’ve visited, it could infer with very high probability — beyond plausible deniability — a list of porn you’ve viewed,” said Thomas.

“At any time, somebody could post a website that allows you to search anybody by email or Facebook username and view their porn browsing history. All that’s needed are two nominal data breaches and an enterprising teenager that wants to create havoc.”

Speaking to The Daily Edge, privacy consultant Fergal Crehan confirmed that this is indeed possible and, if anything “it is inevitable”.

“If the information is out there it will leak eventually,” he said. “Whether it leaks in a big way, I don’t know.”

Main image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt is a journalist at Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com