BROWSER FINGERPRINTING AND THE DEATH OF COOKIES

Third-party cookies may be becoming a thing of the past since Google and Apple announced they would phase out all third-party cookie support. For those who have been living under a rock, cookies are tiny bits of data embedded in your browser by websites you visit. As you move around the web they track your activities and help third parties identify you. As you can imagine, the removal of cookies from the web will have a huge impact on advertisers and the types of content we can serve viewers.

Browser Fingerprinting

But fear not, browser fingerprinting is a tracking method that we can use to collect information about browser types, operating systems, active plugins, time zones, language, screen resolution and a multitude of other active settings. When we analyse these data points we are able to build a unique identity for each user. Now, because fingerprinting is browser-based, rather than storing tracking data on the user’s device where it can be deleted, we can store it in the cloud which makes it much more reliable. 

Creating unique profiles

Unlike third-party cookies, browser fingerprinting uses scripts that look just like the ones websites need to function. This means they are extremely hard to detect and disable. The fingerprinting scripts run in the background and detect information about the user’s device such as their browser, time zone, operating system, screen resolution, device hardware, and much more. It’s the sheer number of data points that makes fingerprinting so effective with 90–99% accuracy identify users. In fact, Panopticlick found that only 1 in 286,777 other browsers will share the same fingerprint as another user.

 

Interactive advertising

But where does this fit in with regard to interactive advertising? As you can imagine, browser fingerprinting is extremely valuable because it allows advertisers to create a profile based on user data. The more data, the more accurately we can target customers. So, with this in mind, how do we bridge the gap between real-world retail and online identities? The answer is to offer consumers experiences where they interact using their mobile devices. Using WebSockets, apps like our Remote Control© allow people to control any installation or activation by simply visiting a URL. Once connected, the user has full control to play and interact with whatever the creative is. Once the experience has finished, we can now use browser fingerprinting to profile the user and server tailored advertising based on our learnings   

 

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