Chromium Client Hints - Privacy-Friendly Tracking on CAKE Google+
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We’ve Got You Covered: Privacy-Friendly Tracking With Chromium Client Hints


In early February, a “privacy-forward” strategy will go live in Chromium — one of the world’s largest open-source web browser projects. This includes reducing user-identifiable information from the User-Agent string such as a user’s browser, device, and operating system. Fortunately, Chromium now also includes Client Hints, which enables developers to retrieve additional user information in a privacy-friendly way.

Important terms to know

CAKE is fully prepared to embrace these changes in Chromium, having already implemented solutions for you.

Our goal is simple, to guarantee business continuity for our customers while simultaneously future-proofing CAKE’s tracking.

Let’s dive into the impact of the User-Agent Reduction and three essential CAKE enhancements made to enable you to enjoy a seamless tracking experience.


The impact – The User-Agent Reduction’s effect on performance tracking

Chromium’s User-Agent Reduction poses a serious threat to effectively track and measure performance while protecting revenue. In affiliate marketing, User-Agent reporting is critical to identify and stop fraudulent traffic. It’s common for fraudsters to employ malicious tactics, such as writing bots with mismatched combinations of device, browser, and operating system in their User-Agent strings. In other words, combinations that would historically trigger red flags in a User-Agent report.

Additionally, Chromium’s User-Agent Reduction also had the potential to affect CAKE functionality. The impacted features included CAKE’s Rules Targeting (on device and operating system on clicks), Session Regeneration (on clicks and conversions), plus reporting functionality.

In response to this, we prioritized tracking upgrades that include the utilization of Chromium’s Client Hints.


The solution – How CAKE helps you to navigate Chromium’s User-Agent Reduction

We implemented the three measures below that harness the full power of Chromium’s Client Hints capabilities.


1 – Integrated with the WURFL Database

The powerful integration with WURFL’s rich database of device information unlocks even more information regarding users’ devices. WURFL is a JavaScript that identifies smartphone device models, tablets, smart TVs, and game consoles visiting a website. The integration enhances CAKE’s ability to provide you with accurate and actionable data customized to individual business needs.


2 – Adopted Client Hints

With the implementation of Chromium Client Hints, CAKE automatically parses out the browser, operating system, and device information to maintain the previous level of detail. This step incurs an additional click or conversion request sent and received by CAKE. Here’s how it works.

In the examples below, the “ch-redir=1” serves as the second click or conversion request that returns additional information, compared to the original click or conversion request. Once CAKE receives Client Hints from Chromium, our system automatically calls the WURFL database to extract and append additional information regarding the click or conversion.

All click and conversion requests from Chromium will automatically have the “ch-redir=1” appended to them since they require the User-Agent.

Click Flow
Conversion Flow


3 – Improved device lookup rules

Compatibility with Chromium’s Client Hints was validated by assessing our device lookup rules core functionality. The specific areas we examined and the actions we took include:

  • Initiated a seamless integration with Client Hints to extract valuable insights into users’ device capabilities.
  • Aligned CAKE’s device lookup rules with Chromium’s specifications, ensuring a smooth transition.
  • Optimized CAKE’s device lookup rules to maximize accuracy and increase the depth of information extracted from the WURFL database.

By proactively implementing and testing these processes, CAKE users can feel confident they will continue to receive the same reliable insights that inform their Rules Targeting, Session Regeneration, and reporting functionality.


We’ve got tracking covered

Staying one step ahead in the evolving privacy-forward era is essential to the advancement of our tracking capabilities, and ultimately your success. The upgrades made to CAKE tracking equip our customers with a reliable and innovative platform to grow their business with confidence and ease.

Ready to explore the full potential of CAKE? Request a demo here.