Thursday, July 02, 2009

Your browser history is showing (an open source web application in scheme)

my web2.0collage
Originally uploaded by dmcopernicus
Over the course of last weekend I wrote web2.0collage, a browser history sniffing collage generator in scheme. Web2.0collage is designed to graphically illustrate just how easy it is for sites to determine what your browser history is. When you visit the site it sniffs your browser history, and creates a collage of the (safe for work) sites that you visit. It is an interesting application of potentially scary technology (imagine a job application site using this to screen candidates). Ideally, given some time in my schedule, I'd like to make it a bit more user friendly and robust so that I could perhaps show it to the general public to increase awareness of privacy issues on the web.

The code, while not good since I was learning how the plt-webserver & imagemagick bindings worked at the time, is available under the agpl. Today it hit the front page of slashdot, causing some less than fortunate scaling issues to be discovered. Hatguy & myself managed to fix them (sort of) without too many interruptions.


Atanas Boev said...

PHD Comics :)

Dale Henderson said...

Wow, this is really, really scary!! Aren't there some serious privacy issues involved here??

Imagine, advertisers can start targeting ads based on browsing history... quite a nice mash-up of info available.

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