free html hit counter ClickPrints | John Battelle's Search Blog

ClickPrints

By - September 24, 2006

FprintClickstreams – the essential building blocks of the Database of Intentions – may have characteristics unique to each person – a “Clickprint”, as this report from Wharton calls it. From Gary’s post excerpting the paper:

“We address the question of whether humans have unique signatures – or clickprints – when they browse the Web. The importance of being able to answer this can be significant given applications to electronic commerce in general and in particular online fraud detection, a major problem in electronic commerce costing the economy billions of dollars annually. In this paper we present a data mining approach to answer this ‘unique clickprint determination problem.”



The paper is reviewed in Wharton’s online publication. What I find rather irritating in the coverage (I have not read the paper yet) is there is precious little discussion of privacy issues, and none of government abuse. It strikes me that at the end of the day, these are the two most important issues facing the deployment of such a technology. Who knew your keyboard and mouse, in essence, are transferring your fingerprints across the web?

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One thought on “ClickPrints

  1. Joe Hunkins says:

    You are right to wonder what is it with search engines and the *lack* of concern about how they know us so well.

    If, analogously, Credit Card companies kept purchase records and then used this info to solicit purchases from people there would be a huge outcry, but search engines are *probably* doing this now and we hear hardly a whimper of concern.

    Clearly a user should own, control, and glean potential profit from their own click information in a world of justice, goodness, light, and non-evil. However, we don’t live in that world and never will.

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