Does Google use a device fingerprint?


Will Google websites ask Chrome produce a fingerprint? Will Chrome produce a fingerprint for any and all websites that request it? Will a free news website produce a fingerprint as a service to Google as part of its obligations as a client of Google?

Edit: The title was changed to replace the word "generate" with the word "read". This question relates to Google because Google has many "identities". An identity for the purpose of this question is a pairing of an well known identifier and a private attribute determined by scanning Gmail or determined by YouTube interests.


Sites don't generate fingerprints. They are artifacts created by the small differences between devices. Javascript code on the client can probe those small differences and create a list of factors, and that list can be unique. If multiple sites share this uniqueness table, no matter if you clear cookies, you will be identified.

For example, your browser. The combination of version, plugins installed, screen resolution, OS, available fonts and a couple other factors are more or less unique. Sites like https://amiunique.org/ and https://panopticlick.eff.org/ will show you how unique you are, and the information they used to detect how unique you are.

Nobody have to ask Google to generate it. Nor ask Chrome. Just toss a special Javascript on the page, and every browser will more or less generate a fingerprint, the difference is the amount of data the browser will give.

  • "Sites don't generate fingerprints" ? but the Javascript came from a website, right? – H2ONaCl Apr 23 '19 at 1:22
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    Fingerprints are artifacts generated by the browser. The script reads the artifacts. They are always there, some sites will read them, some won't. – ThoriumBR Apr 23 '19 at 2:25
  • Some fingerprints are actually generated by your specific hardware, and exposed by the browser. – forest Apr 23 '19 at 10:28
  • Okay the question will be rephrased. The old question: "does Google generate a fingerprint". The revised question: "does Google read a device fingerprint". – H2ONaCl Apr 24 '19 at 4:07

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