Employers are growing desperate to prevent information leaks. The latest trend involves inserting zero-width (hidden) characters into documents. Employees receive what appears to be the same document, but each contains a unique digital fingerprint. If the document is leaked, the employer can trace it back to the person who was given that unique version. See a real-time example from Tom Ross.

How can whistleblowers fight back? Last month, Marco Chiappetta built a Chrome extension designed to replace zero-width characters with emoji. It's fun and funny, but it presents challenges for would-be whistleblowers: not every employee has administrative rights to install the Chrome browser or Chrome extensions at work, and it doesn't apply to content outside the browser, such as email.

So we built Fingertrap, comprised of 3 small files (110 kb) which can be put on a thumb drive or downloaded directly to the target computer. Users can paste any text into the tool, and it will identify fingerprinting characters in red.

You Can Help

Fingertrap is 100% free. Why? We believe payment information defeats user anonymity. No one should keep records of who uses our software, not even us. If you want to make a donation, sign up at our Patreon page, and help us continue to build and deliver free products.

Published May 01, 2018

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