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    InformationWeek: Consumers Accept Device Fingerprinting, Study Finds

    InformationWeek reports on a new study from the Ponemon Institute and ThreatMetrix, which sells device profiling software.

    Computer users are willing to accept device profiling if it leads to improved security and less sharing of personal information, according to a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, an independent privacy research organization. […]

    Device profiling involves the analysis of information about an Internet user’s hardware, software, and network traffic to identify typical usage patterns and to raise a red flag, if, for instance, the user is suddenly accessing a Web site with a different operating system or from a different country. […]

    Almost 70% of respondents indicated that they could accept having their computers authenticated as part of an online purchase and 75% expressed a preference for computer authentication because it’s easier than remembering passwords or answering questions about personal history.

    Despite this, respondents also expressed worries that device identification could lead to exposure of personal information (33%) and that merchants might misuse device authentication data (12%).

    The study demonstrates broad concern about online fraud but reluctance to be bothered with knowledge-based authentication or passwords. Consumers, in other words, want security but don’t want to work for it.

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