The DAA has issued a warning to advisers to release the device’s fingerprints

The Digital Advertising Accountability Program, which applies the Privacy Principles for Digital Advertising, has published a compliance warning to advertisers regarding device fingerprinting. This warning is worth keeping in mind, as the practice of “fingerprinting” is on the rise in more and more industries.

Device fingerprinting uses technological tools to recognize unique devices. This typically occurs by combining device characteristics (such as device IP address, operating system, web browser type and version) to identify unique devices. This information can be collected in all applications and therefore falls under the guidelines. In particular, as “Cross App Data”, which is that which is collected from a particular device regarding app usage over time and across unaffiliated apps. Under DAA guidelines, companies must provide notice and consent when using cross-app data for certain purposes, including interest-based advertising (also known as targeted advertising).

Until recently, notice and consent were in place when advertisers (engaged in interest-based advertising) used advertising identifiers (“advertising identifiers”). Advertising IDs associate the user of a particular application with a particular device at a particular time. The recent DAA Warninghowever, explains that the guidelines are intended to apply more broadly. They impact any technology used to identify a device or user for interest-based advertising.

In short, the compliance warning makes it clear that advertisers using device fingerprints as a method of identifying users or devices for the purpose of interest-based advertising must provide “the same level of transparency and choice to consumers as if they were using an advertising identifier for the same purpose”. To comply with these requirementsadvertisers may need to provide notice, enhanced notice, or obtain user consent, depending on the advertiser’s relationship to the user and the details of the collection.

Put it into practice: Companies that use device fingerprinting for interest-based advertising, whether online or on mobile devices, should keep in mind notification and choice requirements. AAD.

Copyright © 2022, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 82

Lance B. Holton