Mar 222011
 

Jack Marshall reports:

Privacy advocates have expressed concern about device fingerprinting, an emerging technology that allows advertisers to uniquely and persistently identify connected devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets.

When sending or receiving data, connected devices transmit pieces of information about their properties and settings, which can be collected and pieced together to form a unique, persistent “fingerprint” for that specific device.

Once a device has been assigned a fingerprint, advertisers can use that ID to track its behavior as it moves across the web, providing similar functionality to a cookie. The strength of a fingerprint, however, is that it tracks the device itself rather than the cookie placed on it, meaning it cannot be deleted or lost, and can – in theory – remain consistent for the life of a device.

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