Microsoft, Facebook and Google are all working on systems to bypass software firms that place cookies on websites.
Recently, Microsoft revealed plans to allow marketers to track and promote to consumers using apps on its Windows 8 operating systems on tablets and personal computers.
As part of the move, each user will be offered a unique identifier that monitors them across all of their apps, the Wall Street Journal has revealed.
Google is also developing an anonymous identifier system for advertising, or AdID, which could replace third-party cookies that track users' activities for marketing purposes.
Being developed in the midst of efforts in the US to approve a self-regulatory system governing cookie use, the move is expected to disrupt the balance of power in the $120bn global digital advertising industry.
Facebook has also launched a new ad service that carries out tracking of its own.
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