Canvas Fingerprinting

Canvas fingerprinting is a common method used to identify you when browsing the web. This method works by using HTML5 and JavaScript to draw a picture. You can’t see this picture. But once your browser renders it, the binary code used to generate the pixels creates a digital signature that is completely or largely different from signatures created on other computers when drawing the same image.

And that’s why it’s called a signature – because it can be pretty closely matched the next time an advertiser – or someone else – sees that same signature on another web page, they can pretty closely guess it is you.

The truth about Canvas fingerprinting is that the fingerprints aren’t always unique. Therefore Canvas fingerprinting is just one technique that is usually used in combination with others to really zero-in and identify you.

To fight fingerprinting though, you can inject “noise” into the digital signature we referenced above. And that’s how we do it in Ghost.

In it’s initial implementation, we ensure the digital signature is different every time you load a page. That way you can’t be tracked through this method from tab to tab in Ghost Browser.

However, it is a little ‘odd’ that you have a different digital signature every time you load a page. If you are logged into a web site and have a different signature each time you load a page it might seem like you are up to something. So future versions of this feature will generate noise in your Canvas fingerprint, but that fingerprint will be the same for all tabs within a Session or Identity.

In this future implementation you’ll not only block tracking, but you’ll actually look like two totally different users if you are using different Identities in Ghost.

To protect yourself against Canvas fingerprinting in Ghost Browser go to Menu –> Settings –> Advanced –> Privacy, then toggle the option to ‘Enable Canvas Noising’.

1 Comment

  1. rodico on November 19, 2018 at 5:27 am

    In Ghost Browser 2.1.0.3 ,is Canvas fingerprint the same for all tabs within a session or identity?

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