Device Fingerprinting Methodology

Last Updated: Jan 17, 2016 10:45PM PST

Apsalar uses device fingerprinting as a fallback for performing attribution if none of the supported device identifiers are available, and if Google Install Referrer method cannot be used for Google Play Store applications. 

When is Device Fingerprinting usually used? 

Device identifiers are only available in mobile app environments, and as a result any campaigns you may run on a mobile web environment will need to rely on device fingerprinting. Some examples of these campaigns include: 
  • Email campaigns
  • Tracking organic downloads from your mobile web landing page
  • Campaigns with ad networks working with mobile web inventory 

How does it work?​

Apsalar uses device information that is publicly available in the HTTP headers in the click of the Attribution Tracking Tag, and does not have access to any personally identifiable information. 

Apsalar collects the following data points on a click using fingerprinting methodology:
  • Platform
  • Device Brand
  • Device Model
  • Device Carrier
  • IP Address
  • OS Name
  • OS Version
  • User Agent
  • Timestamp
When a user downloads and opens the mobile app, the Apsalar SDK collects the same data points from the mobile app and sends the data to Apsalar’s server, which searches for the matching click with the same device fingerprint. Apsalar then attributes the install to the last click recorded for the device.

How does it compare to attribution based on device IDs?

Due to the volatile nature of the information used to match fingerprint clicks, Apsalar sets the attribution window to only 24 hours. The probability of accurately matching fingerprinting clicks decays exponentially after 24 hours. For this reason, Apsalar expires clicks using fingerprinting that are older than 24 hours.

Device identifiers are more persistent and are rarely reset by users. As a result Apsalar sets the attribution window to 30 days, and expires clicks after this window is passed.
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