NBC News

NBC News 27 Dec 2019

The History Of Internet Tracking And The Battle For Privacy

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The practice of tracking online interactions may have started with innocent intentions, but data tracking and privacy are now the subject of heated global debate. NBC News takes a detailed look at the past, present and future of internet privacy in America.


The militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon hopes that President Trump will pull U.S. troops out of Lebanon after the killing of Soleimani. NBC News' Chris Livesay explains the history between the U.S. and Lebanon.
Super Bowl LIV Opening Night went down on Monday amid an overwhelming sadness in the wake of the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash. San Francisco 49ers reflected on Kobe's legacy and his impact on their careers.
Bernie Sanders, the sole democratic socialist in the 2020 presidential race, came out on top in the New Hampshire primary, winning about 26% of the vote. The Vermont senator's primary success is the latest development in a long and bumpy history of political socialism in the United States.
CGTN's Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Afra Zhao Wang, host of Loud Murmurs, about the rise of Chinese designers and Chinese fashion weeks.

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PRIVACY ARE THE SUBJECT OF A HEAT GLOBAL DEED GLOBAL DEBATE.
HEAT GLOBAL DEED GLOBAL DEBATE. >> Reporter: WE ARE ENTERING THE
>> Reporter: WE ARE ENTERING THE INFORMATION AGE AND THE INTERNET
INFORMATION AGE AND THE INTERNET IS A GREAT PLACE TO MOVE TONS OF
IS A GREAT PLACE TO MOVE TONS OF INFORMATION AT THE SPEED OF
INFORMATION AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT.
LIGHT. >> THE FASTEST GROWING PART OF
>> THE FASTEST GROWING PART OF THE INTERNET IS THE WORLDWIDE
THE INTERNET IS THE WORLDWIDE WEB, AN AREA THAT COMBINES TEXT,
WEB, AN AREA THAT COMBINES TEXT, GRAPHIC AND PICTURES.
GRAPHIC AND PICTURES. >> WHEN WE WERE WORKING ON THE
>> WHEN WE WERE WORKING ON THE WEB IN THE ’90s, WE WEREN’T
WEB IN THE ’90s, WE WEREN’T THINKING AHEAD TOO FAR.
THINKING AHEAD TOO FAR. THE EARLY WEB WAS TEXT AND HYPER
THE EARLY WEB WAS TEXT AND HYPER HYPERLINKS.
HYPERLINKS. THEN PEOPLE WANTED IMAGES AND
THEN PEOPLE WANTED IMAGES AND THAT LED TO AN INVENTED ELEMENT
THAT LED TO AN INVENTED ELEMENT YOU COULD PUT IN YOUR PAGE BUT
YOU COULD PUT IN YOUR PAGE BUT IT REFERRED TO A DIFFERENT
IT REFERRED TO A DIFFERENT MACHINE BY ITS INTERNET ADDRESS.
MACHINE BY ITS INTERNET ADDRESS. IT REFERRED TO YOUR FRIEND’S
IT REFERRED TO YOUR FRIEND’S SERVER.
SERVER. THEN THE COOKIE CAME ALONG.
THEN THE COOKIE CAME ALONG. YOU COULD THINK OF THAT AS A WAY
YOU COULD THINK OF THAT AS A WAY OF SAVING INFORMATION IN YOUR
OF SAVING INFORMATION IN YOUR BROWSER FOR EVERY SITE YOU
BROWSER FOR EVERY SITE YOU VISIT.
VISIT. IT WAS MEANT SO WHEN YOU GO TO
IT WAS MEANT SO WHEN YOU GO TO YOUR BANK AND SIGN IN, YOU WOULD
YOUR BANK AND SIGN IN, YOU WOULD NOT HAVE TO SIGN IN EVERY TIME
NOT HAVE TO SIGN IN EVERY TIME YOU WENT FORWARD OR BACK OR
YOU WENT FORWARD OR BACK OR STARTED YOUR BROWSER.
STARTED YOUR BROWSER. BETWEEN THE COOKIE AND IMAGE YOU
BETWEEN THE COOKIE AND IMAGE YOU HAD A TRACKING SERVER WITHOUT
HAD A TRACKING SERVER WITHOUT KNOWING IT.
KNOWING IT. WE DID THIS NAIVELY.
WE DID THIS NAIVELY. LET’S MAKE THE WEB USEFUL.
LET’S MAKE THE WEB USEFUL. LET’S PUT IN COOKIES SO YOU
LET’S PUT IN COOKIES SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO LOG IN EVERY TIME.
DON’T HAVE TO LOG IN EVERY TIME. >> ESSENTIALLY EVERY CLICK,
>> ESSENTIALLY EVERY CLICK, EVERY ONLINE INTERACTION IS
EVERY ONLINE INTERACTION IS RECORDED.
RECORDED. NOT JUST RECORDED I ABOUT THE
NOT JUST RECORDED I ABOUT THE COMPANY THAT YOU INTERACTED
COMPANY THAT YOU INTERACTED WITH, THE CREEPIEST PART IS IT’S
WITH, THE CREEPIEST PART IS IT’S BEING RECORDED BY DOZENS,
BEING RECORDED BY DOZENS, HUNDREDS, PERHAPS EVEN THOUSANDS
HUNDREDS, PERHAPS EVEN THOUSANDS OF SO-CALLED THIRD-PARTIES
OF SO-CALLED THIRD-PARTIES ONLINE.
ONLINE. BY FIRST-PARTY, I MEAN THE
BY FIRST-PARTY, I MEAN THE WEBSITE THAT YOU THINK YOU’RE
WEBSITE THAT YOU THINK YOU’RE VISITING.
VISITING. THIRD-PARTY IS ANY OTHER ENTITY
THIRD-PARTY IS ANY OTHER ENTITY THAT’S ON THAT SITE AND
THAT’S ON THAT SITE AND PARTICULARLY NOT VISIBLE.
PARTICULARLY NOT VISIBLE. YOU’RE TYPICALLY NOT AWARE OF
YOU’RE TYPICALLY NOT AWARE OF YOUR INTERACTION WITH THEM.
YOUR INTERACTION WITH THEM. WE HAVE AUTOMATED A COMPUTER
WE HAVE AUTOMATED A COMPUTER PROGRAM THAT PRETENDS TO BE A
PROGRAM THAT PRETENDS TO BE A REAL USER AND BROWSES THE WEB.
REAL USER AND BROWSES THE WEB. IT LOOKS AT THE WEB’S TOP 1
IT LOOKS AT THE WEB’S TOP 1 MILLION WEBSITES EACH MONTH BUT
MILLION WEBSITES EACH MONTH BUT IT’S LOOKING AT THE THINGS ON
IT’S LOOKING AT THE THINGS ON THE WEB PAGE USERS WOULD NOT
THE WEB PAGE USERS WOULD NOT NOTICE.
NOTICE. COOKIES AND FINGERPRINTS AND
COOKIES AND FINGERPRINTS AND VARIOUS OTHER TRACKING
VARIOUS OTHER TRACKING TECHNOLOGIES.
TECHNOLOGIES. >> SO, I STARTED THE TOP 100
>> SO, I STARTED THE TOP 100 WEBSITES.
WEBSITES. IT LOADS ON THE LINGO AND
IT LOADS ON THE LINGO AND COLLECTS THE DATA ABOUT
COLLECTS THE DATA ABOUT TRACKING-RELATED PRACTICES LIKE
TRACKING-RELATED PRACTICES LIKE COOKIES, WHAT KIND OF DATA HAS
COOKIES, WHAT KIND OF DATA HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED.
BEEN TRANSFERRED. ALL OF THESE ARE LOGGED INTO A
ALL OF THESE ARE LOGGED INTO A DATABASE.
DATABASE. MOST COMMONLY THEY WILL JUST
MOST COMMONLY THEY WILL JUST PLACE A COOKIE WITH A UNIQUE
PLACE A COOKIE WITH A UNIQUE IDENTIFIER SO THEY CAN TRACK YOU
IDENTIFIER SO THEY CAN TRACK YOU ACROSS WEBSITES.
ACROSS WEBSITES. WHERE WE INTERPERSONAL
WHERE WE INTERPERSONAL INFORMATION SUCH AS EMAIL AND
INFORMATION SUCH AS EMAIL AND PASSWORD, AS SOON AS YOU TYPE
PASSWORD, AS SOON AS YOU TYPE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, IT WILL BE
YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, IT WILL BE COLLECTED AND SENT TO A
COLLECTED AND SENT TO A THIRD-PARTY.
THIRD-PARTY. IN OTHER CASES THE WEBSITE WILL
IN OTHER CASES THE WEBSITE WILL FINGERPRINT YOUR BROWSER.
FINGERPRINT YOUR BROWSER. >> IF YOU GO TO ORDER COFFEE AT
>> IF YOU GO TO ORDER COFFEE AT THE SAME SHOP, THE BARISTA RISRI
THE SAME SHOP, THE BARISTA RISRI NOT KNOW YOUR NAME UNTIL YOU
NOT KNOW YOUR NAME UNTIL YOU GIVE IT TO THEM, THEY RECOGNIZE
GIVE IT TO THEM, THEY RECOGNIZE YOUR ORDER, THEY RECOGNIZE YOUR
YOUR ORDER, THEY RECOGNIZE YOUR ADDRESS, THEY RECOGNIZE YOUR
ADDRESS, THEY RECOGNIZE YOUR HAIRSTYLE.
HAIRSTYLE. THEY ARE IDENTIFYING IN A SENSE
THEY ARE IDENTIFYING IN A SENSE THEY LET SOMEONE PICK YOU OUT OF
THEY LET SOMEONE PICK YOU OUT OF THE CROWD.
THE CROWD. >> THE WAY IT WORKS IS THOSE
>> THE WAY IT WORKS IS THOSE COMPANIES, THIRD PARTY THAT IS
COMPANIES, THIRD PARTY THAT IS HIDDEN ON THE SITE SENDS A
HIDDEN ON THE SITE SENDS A SEQUENCE OF COMMANDS TO YOUR
SEQUENCE OF COMMANDS TO YOUR BROWSER THAT CAUSES IT TO DRAW
BROWSER THAT CAUSES IT TO DRAW AN IMAGE, A HIDDEN IMAGE YOU
AN IMAGE, A HIDDEN IMAGE YOU WOULD NOT KNOW IS ON YOUR
WOULD NOT KNOW IS ON YOUR SCREEN.
SCREEN. THE WAY THE BROWSER WILL
THE WAY THE BROWSER WILL INTERPT THE COMMAND WILL BE
INTERPT THE COMMAND WILL BE DIFFERENT BASED ON THE VERSION
DIFFERENT BASED ON THE VERSION NUMBER, EVEN BASED ON THE SET OF
NUMBER, EVEN BASED ON THE SET OF FONTS INSTALLED ON YOUR
FONTS INSTALLED ON YOUR COMPUTER.
COMPUTER. >> WHEN A WEBSITE SAYS, HEY, TRY
>> WHEN A WEBSITE SAYS, HEY, TRY TO DRAW THIS LINE, THIS CURVE,
TO DRAW THIS LINE, THIS CURVE, THIS SHAPE, YOUR WEB BROWSER
THIS SHAPE, YOUR WEB BROWSER GOES, GRAPHICS, THAT’S BETTER
GOES, GRAPHICS, THAT’S BETTER FOR THE GRAPHICS CARD AND HANDS
FOR THE GRAPHICS CARD AND HANDS IT OVER TO THE GRAPHICS CARD.
IT OVER TO THE GRAPHICS CARD. IT DRAWS THE PICTURE WITH SO
IT DRAWS THE PICTURE WITH SO MUCH ATTENTION TO DETAIL THAT IF
MUCH ATTENTION TO DETAIL THAT IF YOU ASK ANY OTHER GRAPHICS CARD
YOU ASK ANY OTHER GRAPHICS CARD RUNNING ANY OTHER VERSION OF
RUNNING ANY OTHER VERSION OF SOFTWARE RUNNING ON ANY OTHER
SOFTWARE RUNNING ON ANY OTHER COMPUTER TO DO THE SAME THING,
COMPUTER TO DO THE SAME THING, IT WILL LOOK JUST A LITTLE
IT WILL LOOK JUST A LITTLE DIFFERENT.
DIFFERENT. SO IF YOU ASK THE SAME WEB
SO IF YOU ASK THE SAME WEB BROWSER TO DRAW THE SAME PICTURE
BROWSER TO DRAW THE SAME PICTURE AGAIN, YOU’LL BE ABLE TO
AGAIN, YOU’LL BE ABLE TO REMEMBER WHO IT WAS WHO DREW THE
REMEMBER WHO IT WAS WHO DREW THE PICTURE WITH EXACTLY THOSE
PICTURE WITH EXACTLY THOSE PIXELS AND EXACTLY THOSE PLACES.
PIXELS AND EXACTLY THOSE PLACES. >> FACEBOOK, ACTUALLY MAKES A
>> FACEBOOK, ACTUALLY MAKES A BROWSER.
BROWSER. IT’S INTERESTING THE WAY IT
IT’S INTERESTING THE WAY IT COLLECTS IT TO FINGERPRINT YOUR
COLLECTS IT TO FINGERPRINT YOUR BROWSER.
BROWSER. >> AGAIN, THIS IS AN INVISIBLE
>> AGAIN, THIS IS AN INVISIBLE DRAWING.
DRAWING. YOU WOULDN’T KNOW IT’S GOING ON,
YOU WOULDN’T KNOW IT’S GOING ON, BUT BY DRAWING THAT IMAGE AND
BUT BY DRAWING THAT IMAGE AND READING IT BACK IS A SEQUENCE OF
READING IT BACK IS A SEQUENCE OF PIXELS, IT WILL GET AN EXACT
PIXELS, IT WILL GET AN EXACT SEQUENCE OF PIXELS BACK TO
SEQUENCE OF PIXELS BACK TO DIFFERENTIATE DIFFERENT USERS.
DIFFERENTIATE DIFFERENT USERS. >> ALL THE WEBSITES YOU VISIT,
>> ALL THE WEBSITES YOU VISIT, HOW MUCH TIME YOU SPEND ON THEM,
HOW MUCH TIME YOU SPEND ON THEM, YOUR KEY PRESSES, WHAT PART OF
YOUR KEY PRESSES, WHAT PART OF THE PAGE YOU INTERACT WITH, ALL
THE PAGE YOU INTERACT WITH, ALL THESE ARE SENT IN REAL TIME ON A
THESE ARE SENT IN REAL TIME ON A WEBSITE THAT USES PHISHING.
WEBSITE THAT USES PHISHING. >> REPLAY IS SOMETHING LIKE A
>> REPLAY IS SOMETHING LIKE A VIDEO RECORDING OF YOUR BROWSER
VIDEO RECORDING OF YOUR BROWSER SCREEN WHEN YOU’RE BROWSING A
SCREEN WHEN YOU’RE BROWSING A WEBSITE.
WEBSITE. THEY’RE NOT REPUTABLE.
THEY’RE NOT REPUTABLE. COMPANIES YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD
COMPANIES YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD YOU.
YOU. YOU DON’T KNOW THEY’RE
YOU DON’T KNOW THEY’RE RECORDING.
RECORDING. YOU DON’T KNOW WHO WILL GET
YOU DON’T KNOW WHO WILL GET ACCESS TO THAT VIDEO.
ACCESS TO THAT VIDEO. THIS THAT PROCESS THEY TRY TO
THIS THAT PROCESS THEY TRY TO REDACT YOUR PASSWORDS AND CREDIT
REDACT YOUR PASSWORDS AND CREDIT CARDS BUT IT’S TECHNICALLY HARD
CARDS BUT IT’S TECHNICALLY HARD AND THEY FAIL LOTS OF TIMES.
AND THEY FAIL LOTS OF TIMES. WE FIND CREDIT CARD INFORMATION,
WE FIND CREDIT CARD INFORMATION, HEALTH INFORMATION LIKE DRUGS,
HEALTH INFORMATION LIKE DRUGS, PRESCRIPTIONS, STUDENT
PRESCRIPTIONS, STUDENT INFORMATION, ALL OF THAT
INFORMATION, ALL OF THAT SENSITIVE INFORMATION IS GETTING
SENSITIVE INFORMATION IS GETTING INTO THE HANDS OF THIRD-PARTIES.
INTO THE HANDS OF THIRD-PARTIES. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF EXTENSIONS
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF EXTENSIONS YOU CAN INSTALL ON YOUR BROWSER
YOU CAN INSTALL ON YOUR BROWSER TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST THIS
TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST THIS KIND OF SNEAKY TRACKING.
KIND OF SNEAKY TRACKING. PRIVACY BADGER, GHOST READ.
PRIVACY BADGER, GHOST READ. IF YOU INSTALL ANY ONE OF THESE,
IF YOU INSTALL ANY ONE OF THESE, THEY’LL DO A PRETTY GOOD JOB OF
THEY’LL DO A PRETTY GOOD JOB OF PROTECTING YOU FROM MOST, NOT

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