DATA WATCHDOG the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) has expressed concerns about online advertising tracking and the 'device fingerprints' being created by the market.
"Device fingerprinting presents serious data protection concerns for individuals," the report said.
"This [WP29 report indicates] to third parties that process device fingerprints generated through the gaining of access to, or the storing of information on, the user's terminal device that they may only do so with the valid consent of the user (unless an exemption applies)."
Cookies have been covered by this for some time, and UK web users are familiar with notifications on websites that cookies are in use and that they should accept or decline that use.
The cookie rules came into force in the UK in 2012, around a year after the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) published guidance on the matter.
We asked the ICO whether it will follow the WP29's guidance on device fingerprinting and was told that this has always been in its plans.
"The ICO has always been clear that the law around cookies also applies to similar technologies," a spokesperson told The INQUIRER.
"The WP29 opinion adopted this week, which the ICO played a key role in drafting, confirms that digital fingerprinting can be such a technology.
"Digital fingerprinting can access information stored on a user's machine in a similar way to a cookie for a range of purposes [and] it is sensible to consider that the law can apply to some uses of digital fingerprinting in the same way it does to cookies."
"The Opinion stated that Article 5(3) does not exclusively apply to cookies but is also applicable to 'similar technologies'." µ
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