Device Fingerprints Are The New Cookies
There’s undoubtedly a lot of controversy over internet privacy- especially when it comes to advertising. I came across an article today from the Wall Street Journal Online that sheds an interesting light on the advancements being made in online data capturing and just how these companies plan to use the data. Companies are now racing toward something called “Fingerprinting” to replace cookies. A quote from the article explains, “In short, fingerprinting is largely invisible, tough to fend off and semi-permanent.” Therefore, companies will be able to avoid the problems associated with cookies being blocked and deleted. The overall hopes of most companies seem to be detailed profiles of individuals combining everything from online browsing to offline data like property deeds. Websites will become more customized and better suited to individual viewers. Not everyone views data capturing as a helpful tool, however. The article also explains that the “Federal Trade Commission is expected to release a privacy report calling for a “do-not-track” tool for Web browsers.” Clearly there are two sides with strong views in this debate.
Following is an excerpt explaining how one company plans to use fingerprinting:
“Blue Cava also is seeking to use a controversial technique of matching online data about people with catalogs of offline information about them, such as property records, motor-vehicle registrations, income estimates and other details. It works like this: An individual logs into a website using a name or e-mail address.
The website shares those details with an offline-data company, which uses the email address or name to look up its files about the person.
The data company then strips out the user’s name and passes BlueCava information from offline databases. BlueCava then adds those personal details to its profile of that device.”
Do you think this new fingerprinting technology will add to the user experience or do you think it’s crossing a line?