GDPR and Web Fingerprinting

Using web device fingerprints, website owners can identify the type of device a visitor is using to view their site. They can then tailor the user experience to fit that device, for example, by displaying different products or optimizing the website for a specific screen size.

However, this approach does raise privacy concerns. Fingerprinting is a type of online tracking that creates a unique profile of your device, including its hardware and software. This information can be used to track your browsing habits, and it’s possible for this data to identify you.

As a result, browser makers like Apple, Mozilla, and Brave are trying to crack down on device fingerprinting by targeting it as a privacy-invasive practice that they’re working to eradicate. And under GDPR’s definition of personal data, fingerprinting could also be considered a violation of users’ rights.

Web Device Fingerprinting Techniques: Cookies, Canvas, and More

The good news is that you can still use fingerprinting to improve your customer experience without violating people’s privacy. For example, IPQS fingerprinting can accurately identify fake devices, location spoofing and other high-risk behavior patterns that are often associated with fraudsters. This allows businesses to reduce fraud losses by identifying and blocking bad actors before they can damage their brand or commit a costly financial crime.

However, it’s important to note that GDPR lists device fingerprinting as a method of processing personal data, and so you must ask for consent if you plan on using this technique. You should also clearly explain why you’re using the information and how it will benefit your customers.