Canvas fingerprinting, the art of tracking users without the need for cookies

by Carlo Bonini



What is it?

Recently the number of people who have become aware of the “Danger” of the massive use of cookiecanvas-fingerprint

(read the full story of the website that get to know that you are pregnant before you even know it) has significantly increased

, combined with the introduction of boring data privacy forms which the users need to confirm in order to be trackable; this is a major concern for companies that heavily rely on cookie to “spy” users in order to get useful insight on the contents that is shared the most, or the product you are more interested in (for E-commerce).

As usually, in the world of tech, technologies come in handy when mislead or at least delay the intervention of the law is needed; one of these technology is surely canvas fingerprinting.



How does it work?

Similarly to the cookie technology, when a user visits a website , their browser is instructed to “draw” a hidden line of text that is then converted to a digital token. This digital token is clearly a unique identifier of each user.



Who is using it?

It’s easily easily understandable: all those websites that are suffering from cookie erasing such as pornographical ones and very weird news ones.



Why it’s not the future of tracking?

For these two reasons:

1) Don’t allow to overcome the privacy problem, but simply delayed it; the more websites will use it the more it will get noticed and the more it will eventually get normalized by laws.

2) Don’t allow for cross-channel tracking, since the technology it’s browser based, which in a world of interconnected devices it’s a huge lack.