What Is Device Fingerprinting and How Does It Affect Privacy?

Device fingerprinting is a technology used by many websites and apps to identify different devices. The data gathered can be used to target ads and improve the experience of users. It can also be used to stop fraud and other issues that may arise in the online world.

Device Fingerprinting is a technique that uses a piece of JavaScript code to identify the browser, operating system, language, IP address and other details about the user’s device. The information is then passed to the website or app that requested it.

Businesses use device fingerprinting in order to prevent fraud and other problems. The data is then analyzed and cross-referenced with other types of user behavior. The results are then used to determine whether a transaction is legitimate or not.

This process helps to reduce the risk of fraud, such as account takeovers and account-based fraud. It is also used by credit card companies to verify a person’s identity before approving a payment.

The use of device fingerprinting has become commonplace, especially in the online advertising industry. However, there are some concerns about how device fingerprinting affects privacy.

Does device fingerprinting violate data protection laws?

The general answer is yes, but it depends on the type of information gathered and how it is used. The GDPR lists some of the information gathered by device fingerprinting as personal data, and companies should be aware of that when implementing this strategy.

Does device fingerprinting track across multiple devices?

Usually, device fingerprinting is only used to monitor the behavior of one device, but it can be used to track multiple devices if a user uses a single browser and has the same fonts and plugins installed on each device.

Can I block device fingerprinting?

The first thing that you can do to prevent device fingerprinting is to choose a privacy-focused browser. This will limit the amount of data that is shared with third parties and make it harder to generate unique fingerprints.

You can also opt to use a virtual private network (VPN) to mask your device’s location. This will help to hide your real IP address and reduce the amount of data that is shared with a third party, resulting in a less accurate fingerprint.

Can I use device fingerprinting to prevent friendly fraud?

Friendly fraud is a type of scam that targets e-commerce sites. It involves fraudsters who buy goods using someone else’s account or a stolen credit card, then dispute their purchase. This is typically difficult to stop, but it can be prevented through a variety of methods.

Does device fingerprinting violate the Cookie Directive?

The Cookie Directive states that those who process cookies must have the consent of users. Article 5(3) states that users must have clear and comprehensive information on the purposes for which their data is processed.

According to the Article 29 Working Party, those who process device fingerprints can do so without the consent of users if they are necessary for legitimate purposes, and if the information gathered during fingerprinting is required to access an electronics communication network or is used for nothing else.