Tracking Cookies Replaced by Browser Fingerprints
By Bob Rankin
Your online visits no longer just leave cookie ‘crumbs’ behind…now you are leaving fingerprints.–PC Pitstop
Cookies are crumbling. Those bits of code that Web sites deposit on your hard drive are becoming less useful to marketers, and others wanting to track what you do online. But there’s a new web tracking technology that can’t be easily detected or blocked. Here’s what you need to know about browser fingerprinting…
What is Browser Fingerprinting?
Web cookies have been around for twenty years; they can be used to customize your online experience and save you time. However, online marketers, social networks, and others have learned how to use them to their advantage as well. The good news is that these little tidbits are becoming less valuable to those third parties, as browser technology and privacy initiatives advance.
The bad news is that they’ve come up with a replacement technology that some call “browser fingerprinting.” And the steps you may take to avoid cookies don’t work against fingerprinting.
Let’s take a step back. I’ve always said that cookies are not inherently bad; in fact, many people’s favorite features of the Web won’t work without cookies. (See related: A Closer Look at Cookies.) But cookies are a mixed blessing. They can be used to build anonymous profiles of a user’s activity across the web, and that bothers some.
Excerpt shared with permission from Bob Rankin.