Security Co. Keystroke Data To Support Behaviorally Targeted Ads
A Scout media client will perform the test for several months. Then Scout plans to offer its technology to retailers and other businesses that target ads directly to consumers through behavioral targeting platforms.
Keystroke dynamics analyze typing patterns such as how long each key gets held down while typing, and the length of time between each press. These typing patterns represent a signature. So, rather than rely on a cookie that can get wiped out by clearing a browser, now behavioral targeters can use parameters from browsers that create a digital fingerprint.
"It's one way to track individual users without providing personally identifiable information," says Matt Shanahan, vice president of strategy for Scout Analytics.
The technology originated in the Internet security space. Scout's parent company, a business unit of AdmitOne Security, used keystroke dynamics to authenticate subscriptions to bank accounts.
Seeing AdmitOne's results, Scout began to use the technology as well in January 2009. "We had a number of customers who didn't want their paid content being abused by having passwords shared, so they used the technology to determine whether multiple people were sharing accounts," Shanahan says.
Scout's strategists also began to see the kind of profiles the technology could build. So they began offering it to its clients, all B2B companies, to help them rank customers and find those more - and less -- likely to buy product. There's a lot of behavioral analytics in fraud security. >
The company now monitors about 3 million user sessions weekly.
Aside from keystrokes and biometrics, the technology also analyzes where on the network a user originates. Armed with that information, the technology identifies the user's IP address, domain name, who owns it, if it's a business, and its location.
Ironically, a little success could turn parent company AdmitOne Security into the subsidiary, and Scout into the parent company, Shanahan says. "It seems that our ad targeting business based on behavior continues to grow much faster than the security services," he says.
No doubt, I say.