YouTube Activities Can be Tracked Through Gaps in Encryption
Gaps in YouTube's encryption enable both government intelligence agencies, hackers and internet marketers to determine which videos a user is watching.
Representative Image (Image: Reuters)
If you thought what you watch on YouTube is no one's business, you could not be further detached from reality. Researchers have found that your online video viewing habits can be tracked.
Gaps in YouTube's encryption enable both government intelligence agencies, hackers and internet marketers to determine which videos a user is watching, said the researchers.
"We built a simple yet robust machine-learning algorithm that can identify which video you watched -- within a predetermined set of videos -- with a high degree of accuracy," said one of the researchers Ran Dubin from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel.
"The algorithm is based on an in-depth study of how video services work, how video content is encoded and how a video player requests information to play it," Dubin said.
Also read: WhatsApp Text Status to be Back by Next Week
Dubin was able to use this algorithm to determine if someone had watched a specific video from a set of suspicious, terror-related videos.
Intelligence agencies could access this technology for tracking terrorists or other suspicious individuals.
Internet marketing companies could track the number and make-up of viewers watching an ad, according to the research presented at the Black Hat Europe meeting in London.
"It's important to know that video encryption is not as secure as we once thought," Dubin said
"Google, YouTube's parent company, is not likely to patch the gaps since it would be prohibitively expensive to create a traffic obfuscation mechanism for every user's every video request," he added.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.
Recommended For You
- Ranveer Singh Reveals That He Takes Time Management Tips From Deepika Padukone
- Milind Soman and Ankita Konwar Share Vacation Pictures from Iceland
- A Twitter User is Offering to Comment 'Yikes' On Your Ex's Selfie for Just Rs 350
- Guidelines For Influencers Are Incoming; a Few Folks And Brands Must be Very Worried
- Disha Patani and Tiger Shroff Add Star Power to ISL 2019-20 Opening Ceremony