The porn habits of a judge and the types of drugs taken by a politician are among the findings revealed by the anonymous online data of three million internet users.
Two security researchers gathered the information from 'clickstreams' of people's web activity.
Clickstreams are records collected by browser plugins and other services.
This data is used to target advertising campaigns and is not meant to record any personal information that could be linked to an individual.
The researchers found, however, they were easily able to link the information to an individual.
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The porn-browsing habits of a judge and drugs taken by a politician are among the findings revealed by the anonymous online data of three million internet users. Researchers gathered the information from clickstreams, anonymous records of people's web activity (stock image)
Two security researchers have revealed the private browsing habits of three million internet users.
They did so by analysing information from clickstreams, records collected by browser plugins and other services, of people's web activity.
Data gathered by these plugins is anonymised before it is sold to advertisers and is given a customer identifier number rather than an individuals names.
The German pair say they were easily able to link the information provided to a named person.
To do so, they used publicly available information about people's browsing habits, including links and photos shared on social media and YouTube browsing histories.
By comparing this public information from named individuals with the private anonymous data, it became possible to link the two.
This allowed them to trace who people were, sites they had visited, and products they had purchased.
The findings were presented by German journalist Svea Eckert and data