FTC Report Reinforces the Rules for Cross-Device Tracking

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released a report on cross-device tracking, the process by which companies attempt to ascertain that multiple Internet-connected devices are linked to the same person. Drawing on takeaways from a November 2015 FTC workshop, in which panelists, FTC staff and FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez all remarked that cross-device tracking is inherently different from tracking users on a single device, the report describes how cross-device tracking works, outlines its “benefits and challenges,” and reviews (and largely commends) current self-regulatory efforts.  The report also makes suggestions about how basic privacy principles—transparency, choice, consent, and security—can be adapted to the practice of cross-device tracking.

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