Networking

Extracting User Web Browsing Patterns from Non-Content Network Traces: The Online Advertising Case Study

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Executive Summary

Online advertising is a rapidly growing industry currently dominated by the search engine 'Giant' Google. In an attempt to tap into this huge market, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) started deploying deep packet inspection techniques to track and collect user browsing behavior. However, these providers have the fear that such techniques violate wiretap laws that explicitly prevent intercepting the contents of communication without gaining consent from consumers. In this paper, the authors explore how it is possible for ISPs to extract user browsing patterns without inspecting contents of communication.

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