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Favicon's now pose an tracking risk

  • I just came across this video on YT about how researchers have discovered that favicons can be used to be tracked and used to ID you across the net, if they choose to do so.

    I couldn't post a link to the original study because it was behind a YT URL, but I downloaded it and uploaded it to Mediafire so people can read it (or they can click on the description in the link of the video).
    https://www.mediafire.com/file/ecpvpafngppld2m/favicon_study.pdf/file

    The New Web Tracking Method Using Favicons, Explained

    You can clear Opera's favicon file with CCleaner, but it appears Firefox is the only one with a built in favicon deleter.

    Opera needs to look into this problem before it starts getting exploited in the wild!

    Thanks,
    pogue

  • I most likely came here from the exact same video. Terrifying as it is, I must secretly admit that the whole idea of how one can create a unique tracking number using nothing but Favicons is absolutely brilliant, but it can, and most certainly will, be used for evil. I have good faith in that the Opera team will have a long, good look at this, and hopefully find a clever solution.

    -Askew

  • bump

  • Despite what the video says about incognito mode in Chrome, private mode in Opera doesn't seem to cache favicons, not even if you bookmark the site. Entries for the sites and their favicons are not shown in the favicon file. (There are some exceptions in the file for default-provided speed dials though.)

    As for clearing the favicon cache, I'm assuming Opera would just wait and inherit from Chromium whenever they decide to do something. But, it might be nice if Opera did like Brave. But, I think it'd be better to have an explicit option for favicons in the clear history dialog. Opera users love their favicons.

    As for always fetching favicons fresh like Firefox does, that would be cool as a privacy option for Opera. Would be better if it was in Chromium though so other browsers could benefit from it.