Chromebook and browser fingerprinting
November 27, 2020 9:33 AM   Subscribe

If you PowerWash a Chromebook and give it to someone who starts using it with their own Google account, will it have a new browser fingerprint?
posted by Epixonti to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Short version: Yes.

Longer version: "Browser fingerprints" are not as stable as something like a computer serial number. They're created from a whole bunch of settings that are visible to web pages. Background colors, time zone, installed fonts, browser version, etc. Your fingerprint will change every now and then but not so often that it's useless, and presumably small perturbations may still be trackable if they bother to try. Some hardware features are included (screen size, keyboard layout, video card features), but everyone who has the same model of chromebook will have the same settings for all those.

Resetting to factory defaults will make you look like everyone else who has the same-ish model of computer. But even some hardware differences won't contribute to identifying you - web pages can't see how much memory or storage your computer has.

Amiunique is a site that shows you a whole bunch of data that gets used to create browser fingerprints to get an idea of the details. Very little of it is tied to physical hardware.
posted by aubilenon at 11:11 AM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Thank you!
posted by Epixonti at 6:08 AM on November 28, 2020

You can check fingerprints at

I assume since google is a sophisticated ad company with a massive interest in user tracking and that chromebooks are google products, that the change of google user account will be instantly detected by google and that will handle 90% of the identity reassignment.
posted by bdc34 at 7:54 AM on November 28, 2020

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