This is your shape. Is unique and belongs to you and only you. If you cannot see it or it changes every time you visit this post then you have some protection against browser fingerprinting.
Browser fingerprinting is used to collect information about the browser specifics (user-agent, fonts, language, screen resolution, canvas properties, etc.) to identify an specific individual or connection. What was used to create this shape, or fingerprint, was p5js to generate the visuals and a library employed by many called FingerprintJS. FingerprintJS will take all those browser properties and generate a unique MD5 hash that can be tied to your specific browser. This hash is the same on incognito/private and normal browser instances as the data collected about the browser is constant on both modes.
Why is this important? Because you should be able to surf the web anonymously and without being tracked by large corporations or marketing agencies that target specific ads or act differently depending on your online activity, preferences, sexuality, race, etc.
The creators of this library claim it can have a ~60% accuracy in the open source version. While this is true it can be avoided by:
- Using privacy oriented browsers like Brave and Firefox, or even browsers with anti-fingerprinting measures like the Tor Browser.
- Ironically, some suggest using a popular browser thus hiding the noise within noise.
- Install Privacy Badger or Ghostery to block trackers and fingerprinting attempts.
Other ways to check your fingerprint:
- FingerprintJS demo: Quick test of the FingerprintJS library.
- AmIUnique: You can check your fingerprint against a database of other users that did the same thing. Warning: your fingerprint will be stored.
- UniqueMachine: Same idea as FingerprintJS but it tries to generate a unique fingerprint by using OS and hardware specific features, this way it will try to detect the same user even if it's using a different browser in the same machine.
- Cover Your Tracks: Do you want to test your browser protection against tracking and fingerprinting techniques? EFF has a pretty useful site to check this out!