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History sniffing

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Definition Edit

History sniffing is "the practice of tracking which sites a user has or has not visited."[1]

Overview Edit

"[H]istory sniffing code, which [contains] a list of web page hyperlinks . . . [uses] the computer's browser to determine whether the computer had previously visited those hyperlinks, and [transmits] the results to [the advertising network's] servers. Interclick used data on the computer's browsing history to select particular advertisements to display on that computer."[2]

In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took an enforcement action against Epic Marketplace for deceptively failing to disclose its use of history-sniffing technology.[3]

References Edit

  1. Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?: Understanding the Issues, at 4 n.11.
  2. Bose v. Interclick, Inc., 2011 WL 4343517, 2011 US Dist. LEXIS 93663 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 17, 2011) (full-text).
  3. See In the Matter of Epic Marketplace, Inc., and Epic Media Group, LLC, FTC File No. 112 3182, decision and order (Mar. 13, 2013).

External resources Edit

  • Brian Krebs, "What You Should Know About History Sniffing," Krebs on Security (Dec. 6, 2010) (full-text).
  • Ben Schott, "History Sniffing," N.Y. Times (Dec. 8, 2010) (full-text).

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