Our mobile devices and our computers both use GPUs. This is used to help render graphics and videos whether you’re trying to edit a video or play games on your device. However, it looks like GPUs have another potential use and that is to track your activity on the internet.
This is according to researchers from various universities around the world, as in Israel, Australia, and France. They wrote about a potential new way of fingerprinting the activities of users on the web.
According to these researchers, a unique identifier can be created from each user’s GPU stack. This means that even though there might be thousands or millions of users around the world using the same GPU, the slight manufacturing differences in each of these devices can essentially create a unique fingerprint.
It is measured by seeing how long it takes for a device’s GPU to resolve certain visual elements using WebGL, and based on this, it could create an identifier for your device. Right now, cookies are still the preferred method of tracking, but as companies like Apple and Google have started to block cookies and make tracking difficult, companies have had to find alternative ways of tracking users at the same time.
The researchers have shared their findings with companies like Google, Brave, and Mozilla, as well as the Khronos group which is behind WebGL.
Source and Image Credit Ubergizmo