FTC Has Issues with How Advertisers Track You Across Your Devices
Have you ever been surprised to see an online ad on your computer for an item you recently shopped for on your phone? That’s the purpose of a phenomenon called “cross-device tracking”: techniques that can follow a user’s activity across apps and devices. And while it can sometimes benefit consumers—the same technology lets you pick up an e-book on your iPad where you left off on your phone, or that alerts your bank if your account is accessed from an unusual device—the Federal Trade Commission is worried it could create serious privacy and security risks.
In a report published this month, FTC warned consumers about cross-device tracking, which occurs “when platforms, publishers and ad tech companies try to connect a consumer’s activity across her smartphones, tablets, desktop computers and other connected devices.”