A new website aims to draw increased attention to one of the web's longest-running privacy defects: The ability for any site owner to effortlessly steal a compete copy of your recent browsing history.
As we've pointed out before, the problem is as old as the world wide web itself, and unless people take precautions, it afflicts all browsers. Developers have long been aware of the problem, but have been concerned that fixing the massive privacy drawback would break other parts of the user experience.
Enter Start Panic, a website that demonstrates just how easy it is for a webmaster to detect every website contained in your browser history. When we clicked on the "Let's Start" button, it revealed 96 destinations visited in the past few weeks, many we forgot we'd even been to.
SafeHistory is a Mozilla Firefox browser extension that protects your privacy by silently defending against visited-link-based tracking techniques. It allows offsite visited links to be marked only if the browser's history database contains a record of the link being followed from the current site.