Skip to main content
A Better Partnership


May 2017
May 16, 2017

FTC Cross-Device Tracking Staff Report

In January 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a Staff Report on Cross-Device Tracking. Cross-device tracking is a technology which enables the tracking of an individual consumer across multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets, desktops and other connected devices. Tracking can be deterministic (where a user logs into multiple devices affirmatively identifying the device as his/hers) or probabilistic (where a company infers cross-device activity using factors like common IP address). In the FTC Staff’s view, this technology has many benefits, but also poses a danger to a consumer’s privacy interests.
While the FTC Staff Report does not have the force of law, it does offer insights into the FTC’s views on this technology and on steps that should be taken to avoid unfair or deceptive trade practices, which are unlawful under Section 5 of the FTC Act. Specifically, the Staff Report recommends that companies engaged in cross-device tracking:
  1. Be transparent about their data collection and use practices;
  2. Provide choice mechanisms that give consumers control over their data;
  3. Provide heightened protections for sensitive information, including health, financial and children’s information; and
  4. Maintain reasonable security of collected data. 
In this era of big data, companies need to be aware of the potential dangers that arise from the collection and storage of certain types of data. The attorneys in the Cybersecurity & Privacy Group at Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP can assist you in navigating this challenging landscape.

NOTICE. Although we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Also, we cannot treat unsolicited information as confidential. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you.

By clicking the ‘ACCEPT’ button, you agree that we may review any information you transmit to us. You recognize that our review of your information, even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us, and even if you consider it confidential, does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could and will be used against you.

Please click the ‘ACCEPT’ button if you understand and accept the foregoing statement and wish to proceed.



+ -