On the intrusiveness of JavaScript on the web

Muhammad Ikram, Hassan Asghar, Mohamed Ali Kaafar, Anirban Mahanti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


Various web components and JavaScripts have been used for collecting personal identifiable information resulting in privacy concerns. Although several privacy preserving tools have been proposed to limit online advertising and tracking their use has been limited and mostly limited to techsavvy audience. In addition to poor and manual filtering-list maintenance and confusing settings, these privacy preserving tools have, arguably, usability and intrusiveness issues. Among others, their brute-force blockage of all JavaScripts on a website, may result in broken functionalities thus effecting user's web-experience. In this work, we propose a framework to quantify the intrusiveness of JavaScripts with ultimate objective of measuring the usability of privacy pre-serving tools. We postulate that intrusive JavaScripts carry distinct characteristics that could be used to differentiate them from functional JavaScripts i.e., scripts that are genuinely used for enhancing the user's web experience. We propose a measurement methodology that can automatically separate tracking and privacy intrusive JavaScripts from the functional JavaScripts. Our methodology assumes only partial knowledge of the privacy intrusive JavaScripts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoNEXT Student Workshop 2014
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2014 CoNEXT on Student Workshop
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781450332828
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventACM CoNEXT Student Workshop 2014 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 2 Dec 20145 Dec 2014


ConferenceACM CoNEXT Student Workshop 2014


  • JavaScript
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Web-tracking

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  • Cite this

    Ikram, M., Asghar, H., Kaafar, M. A., & Mahanti, A. (2014). On the intrusiveness of JavaScript on the web. In CoNEXT Student Workshop 2014: Proceedings of the 2014 CoNEXT on Student Workshop (pp. 31-33). New York, NY: Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2680821.2680837