The Web Cookie Is Dying. Here’s The Creepier Technology That Comes Next

Many Internet advertisers rely on cookies. The problem for marketers is that some users set their browsers to reject cookies or quickly extinguish them. And mobile phones, which are taking an increasing chunk of the Web usage, do not use cookies.

Advertisers and publishers are increasingly turning to something called fingerprinting. It allows a web site to look at the characteristics of a computer such as what plugins and software you have installed, the size of the screen, the time zone, fonts and other features of any particular machine. These form a unique signature just like random skin patterns on a finger.