Behavioral Profiling – Risk To Anonymity And Privacy

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Deriving information from a person from a website they visit is not something new, but making an inference from their speed of keying in keystrokes has taken the world by surprise.

This is what is called Behavior Profiling.

Created by GREYC research lab, this technique will be able to identify an individual just by his/her own keystroke habits.

In Behavior Profiling, anonymity is disclosed by tracking nuance movements while a person is online, this include mouse clicks.

The technology picks our typing characteristic on scales of millisecond long delays between key presses and uses the data to profile us with a high degree of accuracy.

Site visitors can therefore be identified by their typing habits with 99% accuracy.

Your TOR usage is being watched

Girl TypingTracing anonymity

This raises the next question, is it possible to trace a person based on what he types.

The answer for this may get you off guard. Recently, innovative researchers from GREYC research lab have invented an awesome behavioral profiling technique that accurately identifies your personality courtesy of your keystroke habits.

That’s incredible. Your anonymity online can thus be traced, here is how.

The method

The researchers used a simple logic, everybody types differently.

This can be explained by our typing speeds as well as how we position our hands on the keyboard.

Here something goes unnoticed, and that’s the time we take to press down a particular key before we proceed to the next key. The time gap that’s tells it all.


GREYC research lab uses this profiling technique to collect such benign data.

This is achieved by the employment of a JavaScript or a profiling app that collects keystrokes as one feeds in data to a website.

Login information and usernames are not spared either.


This implies that it can even shatter Tor anonymity.

Anonymity on Tor is usually based on the JavaScript’s and how much information a user can input without exceeding the expected limitation.

This thus means you may surpass the excepted limits without you realizing thus uncovering your anonymity.

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  1. Anonymous

    So how does one wanting to stay anonymous guard against this? Would the only way be to make a concerted effort to change the way one types while trying to browse in private?

  2. sneaky

    How about typing first into a notepad, or word processor, then copying and pasting to the web? Or try playing music and type to the beat. Different songs will make you type differently.


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