Time limits on cookies in the browser and anti-tracking introduced by Safari 11 are a threat to digital advertising according to advertisers
A group of digital advertising and marketing organizations have raised a controversy against Apple for what the coalition calls a unilateral and heavy-handed approach to privacy on the Mac. The group fears that the Apple, which has begun to take drastic anti-tracking measures both on the mobile version and now on the Safari desktop is showing the muscles in exercising a coercive intervention that could cut off an entire segment of the advertising industry.
The open letter against the Apple anti-tracking system in iOS 11
The open letter, published by six major advertising trade associations, responds to a new function of the new macOS that Apple calls IPT, Intelligent Tracking Prevention. Presented already at WWDC in June, lITP uses machine learning algorithms to identify tracking behavior on the Safari browser, such as the presence of persistent cookies from third-party ad networks, and imposes a strict limit of 24 hours of life to these tracking tools. Apple has presented this new feature saying that it is not about blocking advertisements, but about protecting privacy.
Advertisers' concern with Apple's anti-tracking systems in Safari
Advertisers are worried that Apple's changes could make Facebook and Google more powerful.
Their position was to be excluded from the platform, in favor of de facto the most influential corporations. Blocking cookies in this way will create a chasm between the brands and their customers, making advertising more generic and less useful and precise temporally. To put it simply, the cookie-generated cookie choices do not represent the user's choice, but the browser manufacturer's choice, reads in the open letter. The group of signatories says that Apple is flying over the real choice of users, imposing its own set of opaque and arbitrary standards.
Users should decide on Apple tracking systems
ANTI-tracking in defense of privacy for Apple
Apple's commitment to significant user privacy, especially in an era of free web services coupled with a steady growth of targeting is tracking of advertisements. However, the advertising groups fear that Apple's decision may decimate their business at a time when Facebook and Google are already engulfing 90% of every new dollar spent on web advertising. Due to the profound pervasiveness of Facebook and Google on the web, users tend to stay connected to the services of the two companies all day, visiting the primary site of these two at least once a day, if not more: this makes the system of 24 hours of prevention of ineffective advertising tracking for these two mastodons of the network, damaging instead the companies linked to the most modest advertising on the Internet, such as for example Adroll and Criteo, companies that manage cookies from thousands of sites in the background.
Privacy in Safari for iOS 11
Apple believes that people have the right to privacy. Safari was the first browser to block third-party cookies and Intelligent Tracking Prevention by default, a more advanced way to protect user privacy. The tracking technology for advertising purposes has become so pervasive that it is now possible for ad tracking companies to recreate most of a person's internet browsing historysaid an Apple spokesman.
Anti-tracking, retargeting and Apple
Apple talks about one here distinction between first-party and third-party cookies and the ITP system aims at those of third parties. This information is collected without permission and is used for the re-targeting of advertisements and the way in which advertisements follow people around the web, added the company and the new ITP function recognizes and eliminates cookies and other data used for this tracking through the sites, which means keeping a person's internet browsing private. This feature does not block advertisements or interfere with legitimate tracking on sites that people actually visit. Cookies for the sites you interact with work as expected and the insertions entered by web publishers normally appear, Apple pointed out.
Tracking and anti-tracking, how will it end?
It is not clear how this contentious showdown will end, but we know that, while Apple sees the protection of user privacy as a strong element of differentiation from the competition and a great PR move, it is not particularly interested in encouraging Facebook and Google in that that a dangerously asymmetrical market that could easily see further consolidation of power in the few hands of the biggest giants of the technological industry.