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The digital marketing glossary > D > What is Device fingerprinting definition?

What is Device fingerprinting definition ?

Device fingerprinting is a process by which a fingerprint of a connected device - desktop, tablet, smartphone, game console, etc. - is captured when visiting a website.

The fingerprint is established and captured by gathering more than 100 types of informations or parameters about the device. A unique ID or fingerprint is then generated from those data and added to a database managed by the fingerprinting service or directly on client (merchant) server. It allow merchants to identify a particular device without gathering any personally identifiable information.

Some of the data used for fingerprinting and most often collected via Javascript are:
- operating system
- language
- display parameters
- installed sofwares
- browser version
- time displayed by clock
- etc.

With device fingerprinting technologies, no PII is ever collected.

Device printing principles by Mediamath :

 

Device fingerprinting is a cookieless tracking method, therefore it is especially used for mobile device tracking.

Device fingerprinting is also used for fighting fraud on ecommerce websites. It allows the service to recognize and flag a fraudster’s device when the name has been changed, cookies deleted and a proxy server used to hide the real location of the visitor. Of course, a fraudster may still change his device.

Some advertising networks claim to use device fingerprinting for advertising and targeting purposes, but it is rare and may raise privacy issues. Nevertheless it may be seen as an alternative to cookies.

A fingerprint should not be confused with a unique number tied to a mobile device, like an UDID or Apple’s IFA. The fingerprint is captured for each visit or order on a website using the fingerprint service. A UDID, Imac Address or IFA is stored at device level.

A device fingerprinting offer for advertising targeting:

 
Published on Friday 28 November 2014, mis a jour le Saturday 29 November 2014 (Authors)