Cross-Device Tracking: Measurement and Disclosures

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We are pleased to announce that OTech’s research on cross device tracking has been accepted for publication in the Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies, and is available online now. This paper stems from research OTech presented at the FTC Cross-Device Tracking workshop, and OTech continues to be interested in this emerging area. This research will also be presented at the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS) in July 2017.

The paper is available at:

Here is the abstract:

Cross-Device Tracking: Measurement and Disclosures

By Justin Brookman, Phoebe Rouge, Aaron Alva, and Christina Yeung

Internet advertising and analytics technology companies are increasingly trying to find ways to link behavior across the various devices consumers own. This cross-device tracking can provide a more complete view into a consumer’s behavior and can be valuable for a range of purposes, including ad targeting, research, and conversion attribution. However, consumers may not be aware of how and how often their behavior is tracked across different devices. We designed this study to try to assess what information about cross-device tracking (including data flows and policy disclosures) is observable from the perspective of the end user. Our paper demonstrates how data that is routinely collected and shared online could be used by online third parties to track consumers across devices.

The author’s views are his or her own, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commission or any Commissioner.


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