Try as you might, there's no foolproof way to be absolutely sure that your BitTorrent downloads are private and hidden from prying eyes. To prove it, one web site is posting your downloading habits out and in the open for all to see, and so we all understand how easy it can be to pin specific torrents to individual IP addresses.
You Have Downloaded is a new site that claims to know what files you've been torrenting and what you've downloaded -- and it makes all of that information public to anyone who types in your IP address.
If you visit the site, You Have Downloaded will look up your IP and display any torrents it has managed to scrape that are associated with you. If you change your IP regularly or have a dynamic IP, it may not have anything on you -- or at least nothing recent -- but if you've had the same IP for a while and do a lot of downloading, it's possible it will have at least some record of you. The folks behind the site claim they are watching 20% of all public tracker downloads, and they're expanding to keep track of more, which means if you're not on the site now, you may be soon.
According to TorrentFreak, the site currently has a database of over 51 million users, over 100,000 torrents, a million files, and it's still growing. The folks behind the site want their project to be a wake up call to encourage downloaders to embrace torrenting through a VPN or proxy, or through another anonymising service that will keep their traffic private and secure. For more tips on keeping your downloading private, check out our guide to boosting your BitTorrent speed and privacy.
Head over and check out You Have Downloaded, and then let us know if the site has any data on you in the comments below.