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How to test if your browser configuration is unique – EFF Panopticlick – PET (Privacy Enhancing Technology)


We all use a browser, sadly our configurations are unique.  This means that surveillance can fingerprint us, using the browser.  This is scary stuff.  EFF have devised a unique test – and alas it immediately fingerprinted me as unique.

Step 1 – Run the EFF Browser Test 

Test Me

panoptic eff startNote – you may have to install Java etc to run the test.


Step 2 – Get your results

Oh noooo!!!

panoptic 1

Rare configurations may function as fingerprints that allow websites to track the browser even if the user limits or deletes cookies


panoptic browser results

The results will detail a fingerprint of your browser.

Step 3 – How 3 or 4 pieces of meta data can uniquely identify you

panoptic entropy

Meta data cannot be “anonymised”.  It’s a unique fingerprint that is incredibly dangerous.

The NHS and government always claim that their medical information has been “anonymised”, but if it contains both your date of birth, postcode and gender, then of course their claim is utter rubbish.

Meta data is far more damaging than actual content.  Meta data cannot be “anonymised” in any context, from your web browser to your medical records.  So if anyone claims they have allowed access to  “safe” anonymised medical data they are trying to hoodwink you.  The “it’s been anonymised” argument… is mathematical rubbish.

The EFF are demonstrating this with your browser.

The EFF browser uniqueness pdf makes interesting reading.   The “take home” message is that data cannot be anonymised.  It only takes 3 or at most 4 sets of meta data to uniquely identify everyone on the planet.  If the data contains 3 data sets – it cannot be anonymised.


1. Install NoScript for your browser.  This makes a significant difference… you should no longer have a unique browser.

eff no script




  1. Great post, I had the same result as you 22.01 bits🙂 I’m not sure if this is relevant to this post but I came across this video about calculating Facebook cookie entropy, it’s kinda outdated but it goes to show how powerful entropies can be🙂


    • Great Video – Samy is legendary.
      He wrote the script that allowed me to enter my router MAC and discover the data that Google streetview servers had collected on me. You could type in random MAC’s and see the houses where the router was located.
      Google opened up all the servers and datas on each router MAC. DUH!! They linked it to streetview, so that you could see homes, houses, cars in the street. I’m surprised they didn’t decrypt the router password as well, along with any medical data they had on the residents.

      What planet are they on??


      • Yeah he’s taking about that towards the end of the presentation. When I heard that I was a little surprised by the decision, quite dull. It’s quite surprising that they collected data like that in the first place.


  2. It’s not game over yet. Your browser characteristics can be altered in Firefox by entering ‘aabout:config’ in the address bar, and Privoxy can be set up to filter out identifying traffic.


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