The Brief: Fingerprinting technology is a controversial form of digital tracking used by some ad companies.


Also referred to as digital fingerprinting, device fingerprinting, and just fingerprinting, this technology enables websites, apps, and ad services to gather information about people’s online activity. Fingerprinting technology has been criticized for the way it closely tracks user behavior, with many calling it an invasion of privacy.

Despite its name, this tech has nothing to do with actual fingerprints. It’s commonly used to gather data about user behavior for ad targeting and device verification. Browsers including Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla, and Brave have measures in place to limit fingerprinting tracking technology.