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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Expect your porn history to become public, computer expert warns

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

SAN FRANCISCO, October 21, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – An Internet tech expert is warning that the browsing history of anyone, including their porn-viewing habits, coule become public knowledge.

The warning comes weeks after hackers accessed and then leaked the personal information of millions of users of the adulterous dating website AshleyMadison.com, leading to multiple suicides among alleged users of the site.

Now, Brett Thomas, a software engineer in San Francisco, wrote on his blog that hackers could cross-reference information passed from computer to computer and find out the identities, and browsing histories, of ordinary Internet porn users.

Thomas warns, "You should expect that at some point your porn viewing history will be publicly released and attached to your name."

And surfing porn in "private" or "incognito" modes is no protection. Thomas's blog post advises companies to proactively protect internet users' privacy.

"All that's needed are two nominal data breaches and an enterprising teenager that wants to create havoc," Scott writes.

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Browser footprints, global identifiers and user tracking make all internet users vulnerable to being identified. Web browsers leave a unique, identifying "footprint" every time you visit a web page, whether in "private" mode or not. Browsers give lots of information about your computer to websites every time you visit, he said.

Global identifiers link your browser footprint on one website to your footprint on another website. And every website you visit utilizes "user tracking," which saves data to link your user account to your browser footprint.

"If a malicious party obtained identifiable access logs for just one of the websites that know your name, and view logs for just one of the adult websites you’ve visited, it could infer with very high probability - beyond plausible deniability - a list of porn you've viewed," said Thomas.

Some of the most popular porn sites in the world have already been hacked. The degree to which hackers can access the private histories of Internet users was exposed in 2014, when nude photos of celebrities, taken on their own private mobile devices, were access and then leaked. 

At any time, warned Thomas, somebody could post a website that allows you to search anybody by email or Facebook username and view that person's porn browsing history.

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