User Tracking via Browser Fingerprinting

In days that we can do almost anything online, it is crucial for web developers to receive information about the users’ behavior and devices in order to improve the web service. We make use of cookies to identify / recognize a user and store the required information about them. In this thesis, however, I present a modern, sophisticated way to track users without using cookies as it has become very easy to block them. This technique is called browser Fingerprinting. It works by combining many different characteristics that are available to a website into one unique identifier. I describe the state-of-the-art of this technique and show how it works in a comprehensible way. I characterize use case scenarios, give examples and highlight benefits towards other tracking techniques as well as problems that come along when using Fingerprinting. I spotlight that browser Fingerprinting is already used in many websites by conducting a crawl of the top 5 000 international domains and top 5 000 *.de domains. Lastly, I conclude and give assumptions about the future development and privacy considerations.



  • Sven Hendrik Schebitz


  • Prof. Christian Noss
  • Dr. Eduard Maibach