The New Way Facebook, Google, and Apple are Tracking You

tracking

Reposted from Venture Beat:

The lifespan of the tracking cookie is about to expire. With the rapid emergence of mobile devices, the big three — Facebook, Google, and Apple — have turned to new and more potent methods for advertisers to keep track of you across multiple devices.

The impending death of the cookie can be traced to the launch of the iPhone in 2007. Apple decided to disable cookie functionality in iPhones because it believed advertisers would be able to garner too much personal information as they tracked you across websites, according to Medialets chief executive Eric Litman. Third-party cookies still work on Google’s Chrome browser and the Android OS, but they don’t function effectively on a large number of smartphones and tablets produced by other companies. Also, because cookies can only track you while you’re using a browser — not a mobile app — they have very limited relevance on mobile devices.

“Google, Apple, and Microsoft, as the dominant operating system vendors, could easily fix this problem of cross-device user identification for advertising in a consistent, privacy-friendly way if they wanted to,” Litman said. “IDFA and Google AdID are steps in the right direction, and hopefully Apple and Google will continue to improve them and and create a standard that everyone can support.” Here’s how each of the big mobile players is trying to replace the cookie with its own brand of tracking…

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