Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Snap Has Explored Tracking Groups of Users Without Consent

Patrick McGee and Hannah Murphy, Financial Times:

According to recent internal documents seen by the Financial Times, Snap wanted to gather data from companies that analyse whether people have responded to ad campaigns, including aggregated IP addresses, the labels that identify devices connected to the internet.

It hoped it could take that data and cross-reference it against the information it holds on its own users to identify and track them, in a technique known as “probabilistic matching”, according to several people familiar with its plans.

After being contacted by the FT about its plans, Snap acknowledged it had run a probabilistic matching programme for several months to test the impact of Apple’s new policies, but said it had always intended to discontinue the program after Apple introduces its changes, as such a system would not be compliant.

Expect to see a lot more of this sort of thing as marketing companies and data brokers you’ve never heard of try to find surreptitious ways of tracking users instead of just asking permission.