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Thursday, 27th August 2015

The Rise of Mobile Tracking Headers: How Telcos Around the World Are Threatening Your Privacy

Source: Access

From Executive Summary:

Mobile broadband serves as a crucial means of accessing the internet for hundreds of millions of people around the globe. And for many users, mobile devices provide the only way of going online. Their devices serve as gateways to information, resources, and innovation, but they can also leak intimate details about the users themselves. In 2014, security researchers provided a key insight into how companies were using these data when they revealed that mobile carriers in the U.S. were secretly monitoring the web browsing habits of their users. The researchers found Verizon Wireless and AT&T using so-called supercookies — special tracking headers that the carriers inject beyond the control of the user. These revelations led to an investigation by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, action by legislators in the U.S. Congress, and several lawsuits. Despite these small victories, tracking headers are still being used around the world, and important questions remain. How extensive is the use of these tracking headers? What kind of information have carriers been collecting with them? Does their use violate users’ privacy? And what should be done about them, if anything?

+ Direct link to document (PDF; 3.7 MB)

+ Executive Summary (PDF; 84 KB)

+ Blog entry


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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