Latest HTML5 Technology Allows Websites to Log Visitors Usage
New development techniques have shown that HTML 5 can be used by sites to retain cookies and effectively track the visitor’s web use.
A study found that some websites place over 150 cookies on the customer’s computer. Many of which were installed by third party services on the website. This just shows how ineffective normal HTML cookies can be. From a small percentage of pages, HTML5 cookies could be found. These were analysed, they allowed in-depth tracking of the user as they navigate the webpage.
HTML5 cookies are far more persistent, a restart of the computer does not cause them to expire. They can only be deleted on website or user command.
Websites that were found to have HTML5 cookies included: Twitter, New York Times and Hulu. The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) proposed a list of security fixes to HTML5. These included the ability for the user to easily see what cookies they are being tracked by. In a talk on privacy this year, Vice President of the EU Neelie Kroes shared these same concerns.