Like a Pack of Wolves: Community Structure of Web Trackers

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Like a Pack of Wolves: Community Structure of Web Trackers
Web trackers are services that monitor user behavior on the web. The information they collect is ostensibly used for customization and targeted advertising. Due to rising privacy concerns, users have started to install browser plugins that prevent tracking of their web usage. Such plugins tend to address tracking activity by means of crowdsourced filters. While these tools have been relatively effective in protecting users from privacy violations, their crowdsourced nature requires significant human effort, and provide no fundamental understanding of how trackers operate. In this paper, we leverage the insight that fundamental requirements for trackers’ success can be used as discriminating features for tracker detection. We begin by using traces from a mobile web proxy to model user browsing behavior as a graph. We then perform a transformation on the extracted graph that reveals very well-connected communities of trackers. Next, after discovering that trackers’ position in th...
Vasiliki Kalavri, Jeremy Blackburn, Matteo Varvell
Added 08 Apr 2016
Updated 08 Apr 2016
Type Journal
Year 2016
Where PAM
Authors Vasiliki Kalavri, Jeremy Blackburn, Matteo Varvello, Konstantina Papagiannaki
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