What is “Device Fingerprinting” and Why Should You Care?

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As consumers, most of us are aware of today’s online privacy concerns. The imminent rise in tracking indivdual movements online to collect and store information about our unique interests is exploding in growth as more companies try to mine data and create a competitive advantage. In addition, data is big money in today’s digital world. The ability to customize ads based on unique characteristics to a target demographic is the equivalent of a gold mine in the advertising industry. Targeted ads increase the likelihood that a consumer will make a purchase instead of the “spray and pray” approach which relies on the hope that the right consumer sees your ad. Unfortunately, a lot of the data collected on online behaviors is done without our knowledge or permission, causing concern about how we can protect ourselves and retain more control over what information, if any, is collected and stored.

Most of us are familiar with the term “cookies” – tiny pieces of data stored about us that merchants can use to understand more about our browsing history. But did you know that disabling cookies in your Web browser doesn’t necessarily mean that you have pulled the plug on the ability of third parties to track your online activities?

A new way for advertisers to capture and record your activities is called “device fingerprinting” which is summed up in the Infographic below. Device fingerprinting uses unique characteristics of a browser environment such as screen dimensions, fonts, and your clock to identify and track you. A knee jerk reaction to this technology may be negative, but device fingerprinting also has its advantages. Listed below is a very informative Infographic on device fingerprinting including it’s advantages and disadvantages and how to protect yourself from it if you don’t wish to be tracked.

 

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Infographic: Recent biometric news stories/device fingerprinting care

Source: WebDesignDegreeCenter.org

What are your thoughts on device fingerprinting? Does it do more harm than good? Weigh in with your opinions on the comments below.

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John Trader is the Public Relations and Marketing Manager with M2SYS Technology, a recognized industry leader in biometric identity management technology. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA M2SYS Technology's mission is to pioneer the high-tech industry by delivering long-term value to customers, employees and partners through continued innovation and excellence in all aspects of our business. M2SYS continues to innovate, build and bring to market leading-edge biometrics solutions that revolutionize the industry and expand the applicability of biometrics technology in our marketplace. You can view their Web site at www.m2sys.com or contact them via e-mail at info@m2sys.com