Behavioral Keyboard Privacy is an experimental add-on for Mozilla Firefox that prevents you from being profiled based on how you type.
Did you know that there are companies out there that track you based on how you type? They have developed methods that track your typing patterns; how fast you type, how long you dwell on keys, how long it takes for the next key to be pressed and so on.
Basically, all these companies need is enough data to identify you based on how you type regardless of whether you are using the computer for the first time or regularly.
There is no need for cookies, supercookies, or other tracking mechanisms anymore with behavioral keyboard analysis.
The main issue with this from a tracking company perspective is that data is needed to create profiles and identify users. If you visit sites that don't require input, or only minimal input, then there is little chance for those companies to create your tracking profile or track you.
We talked about this back in 2015 when Keyboard Privacy was released for Google Chrome that took care of that by changing dwell and gap times to constant values.
Behavioral Keyboard Privacy brings the functionality of the Chrome extension to Firefox. It has been created by another user, and it is not entirely clear if it is a port of the Chrome extension.
The functionality that it provides is identical to the Chrome version. It sets the dwell time and the gap time to 200ms by default to protect against tracking methods that try to create a profile on you based on how you type.
You can click on the icon that it adds to Firefox's main toolbar to change those intervals. You may run into issues if you pick too high or too low values for those intervals.
The add-on runs in the background and should not interfere with your typing in any way. This may be the case if you change the default interval, but it is easy enough to modify the intervals again if that happens.
It is unclear how widespread behavior keyboard tracking is, and by how many sites and companies it is used. Behavioral Keyboard Privacy provides you with an option to block these tracking attempts. If you believe or know that the tracking is widespread, you may install the add-on to stop it cold in its tracks.
Even if a company managed to create a profile using typing data already, it won't be able to link it to your typing once you install the extension.Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.