29 Sep'17

Apple disturbing ‘the economic model for the Internet’


With the latest iOS 11 update, Apple have launched the new Safari feature, Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP).


WebKit, the web browser engine used by Safari, reports on the features of ITP.  The purpose of ITP is to limit consumers’ data collected by cookies.


If a consumer have visited a webpage in the last 24 hours, then the cookies will be available for third party websites. According to The Drum, this will mean that users will be able to use their login information from one webpage to another.


If a consumer visits a webpage within 30 days, but not in the last 24 hours then the cookie will be ‘partitioned’, meaning the data will be stored in a ‘privately-controlled domain’. In turn, this restricts the use of cookies in cross-site tracking.


If a consumer has not visited a website within 30 days their data is ‘purged’. The Drum explain this as the advertisers not being able to access data information for retargeting purposes.


ITP was announced in June at the Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. However, it was only this month that an official criticism has been published.  Six large advertising groups wrote an open letter, published on AdWeek, accusing Apple of sabotaging the ‘economic model for the Internet.’


The letter adds, ‘Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers.’


Companies use cookies to track consumers’ behaviour and purchasing journey, which is then used to provide personalised customer services.


PerformanceIN quoted the Chief Operating Officer at Awin, Adam Ross, who commented on a Facebook group ‘tracking is our lifeblood’, and the network invests a significant amount in ‘adapting its systems and processes to the changing landscape.’


In response, Apple released the statement defending their ITP (published on TechCrunch):


‘Apple believes that people have a right to privacy – Safari was the first browser to block third-party cookies by default and Intelligent Tracking Prevention is a more advanced method for protecting user privacy.’


PerformanceIN summarises the reaction to ITP as a ‘let’s wait and see’.  In addition, the article states ‘all networks in agreement that any significant effect will be gradual’.