The history of use of unique identifiers for iOS products, UDID, MAC, browser cookie, OpenUDID. From May 2012.
Mobile App Tracking, a company that boasts clientele like Zynga and LivingSocial, has proposed device fingerprinting. This approach is rather scatterbrained, as it needs apps to collect various bits of data about your iPhone (location, IP address, iOS version, etc.) and combine them together into one unique identifier. Unfortunately, users cannot easily opt out of fingerprinting or reset their device fingerprint altogether. There’s plenty of room for discrepancies since all of these bits of data can be meshed together and lose their accuracy over time. Device fingerprinting also requires licensing fees, so don’t expect it to gain widespread adoption.
And the history continues, idFA (Apple’s ID For Advertising) , articel from August 2013
The main drawback to dynamic device IDs is the inability to support cross-device and cross-channel advertising performance attribution.
There are a few industry players working to address the attribution problem by creating an advertiser-agnostic central clearinghouse, where consumers opt in to a universal ID that can be used for targeted advertising and to measure engagement. This approach suffers from a heavy reliance on consumer and market education, and perhaps unrealistic expectations for consumer adoption and industry standardization.
Until then, we have to go back to our roots in science and math and to refocus on users rather than devices to overcome the limitations of cookies in mobile. Applying statistical probabilities to user behaviors online enables advertisers to estimate the likelihood that a user of one device is the same user of any other device, including tablets, smartphones, digital TV, desktop or any other digital device.
http://www.drawbrid.ge/ seems to do this.
“IDFA is back” , April 2014:
Other relevant articles,
RTB, desktop ad networks coming to mobile ad networks, August 2013
Big Brands on mobile advertising