The Crypto extension adds support for cryptographic hash functions to convert or generate data layer values.
- utag v4.38 or higher
For additional information, see How to upgrade utag.js.
- See About Extensions to become familiar with how extension work.
How it works
A cryptographic hash function is used to convert a text value containing sensitive information into an anonymous and unique, fixed-length string of characters. For example, hashing is commonly applied to a user’s email address to anonymize the value while retaining its uniqueness. This extension offers a variety of commonly used hashing function algorithms, such as MD5 and SHA-1.
A data layer variable set in the extension is overwritten with the new hashed value. To generate a hashed value and preserve the original variable, use a second variable for the hashed value.
The term hashing is not synonomous with encryption.
Using the extension
Once the Crypto extension is added, configure the following fields:
- Hash Method
Select one of the available hashing functions:
The MD5 message-digest algorithm is a widely used hash function producing a 128-bit hash value.
The SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1) is a hash function that takes an input and produces a 160-bit (20-byte) hash value known as a message digest – often rendered as a hexadecimal number, 40 digits long.
The SHA256 hash function generates an almost-unique 256-bit (32-byte) signature for a text. SHA256 is a variant of the SHA-2 (Secure Hash Algorithm 2) set of cryptographic hash functions.
A hash function that, when applied to the provided input, results in a 128-digit hexadecimal number that is highly unlikely to match the value produced for a different input. SHA512 is a variant of the SHA-2 (Secure Hash Algorithm 2) set of cryptographic hash functions.
Click + Add Variable to add a variable value using the selected cryptographic function. Repeat this step to hash additional variables.
The following example hashes a data layer variable named
> utag_data.customer_email < "email@example.com"
With the Crypto extension configured to convert
customer_email using the SHA-1 cryptographic hash function, the new value becomes:
> utag_data.customer_email < "05fcf31275aa13408ace62e84dac60ae4b805a65"
customer_email and create a hashed value, use a second variable named
customer_email_hash. First, use the Set Data Values extension to initialize the hash variable
customer_email_hash to the value in
customer_email, and then convert it in the Crypto extension. This ensures you preserve the original value after creating the new hash value:
> utag_data.customer_email < "firstname.lastname@example.org" > utag_data.customer_email_hash < "05fcf31275aa13408ace62e84dac60ae4b805a65"
Another option is to scope the Crypto extension only to the tags that use the hashed value. This preserves the original variable for all other tags.
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This page was last updated: February 21, 2023