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Ad Agencies Deeply Concerned About New Safari AdTracking Limits

first_img iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro Have More Cameras, More ProblemsApple Arcade Launches Next Week In June—when the iPhone X was still just a glint in hopeful consumers’ eyes—Apple introduced a new program that reduces cross-site ad tracking in Safari.Dubbed Intelligent Tracking Prevention, the WebKit feature identifies those websites that follow users across domains, and takes action against them.Let’s say example.com, for example, is classified as a cross-site tracker. If you’ve not interacted with that mobile page in the last 30 days, Safari automatically purges the site’s cookies, and continues erasing new data.A new 24-hour limit, which turns sites from first-party to third-party domains, helps to clean out the browser and restrict unwanted long-term cookies and data.“We are aware that this feature may create challenges for legitimate website storage, i.e. storage not intended for cross-site tracking,” Apple said in a summer announcement. “Please let us know of such cases and we will try to help.”Last week, six major advertising trade associations took Cupertino up on its offer.The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), American Advertising Federation, Association of National Advertisers, Data & Marketing Association, Interactive Advertising Bureau, and Network Advertising Alliance on Thursday released an open letter outlining “deep concerns” over Safari 11’s cookie-handling function.“We are deeply concerned about the Safari 11 browser update that Apple plans to release, as it overrides and replaces existing user-controlled cookie preferences with Apple’s own set of opaque and arbitrary standards for cookie handling,” the memo said.Intelligent Tracking Prevention, the groups argued, “would change the rules by which cookies are set and recognized by browsers.”While Safari already blocks third-party cookies (those set by a domain other than the one being visited), the new functionality, according to the letter, “would create a set of haphazard rules” for the use of first-party cookies (those set by a domain the user chooses to visit)—”without notice or choice.”“The infrastructure of the modern Internet depends on consistent and generally applicable standards for cookies,” the agencies said. “Apple’s Safari move breaks those standards and replaces them with an amorphous set of shifting rules that will hurt the user experience and sabotage the economic model for the Internet.“Apple’s unilateral and heavy-handed approach is bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services consumers love. Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful.”Them’s fightin’ words.The trade groups “strongly encourage” Cupertino to rethink its plan. Though I’m not holding my breath for a change of heart from the tech titan.“Put simply, machine-driven cookie choices do not represent user choice; they represent browser-manufacturer choice,” the joint letter said. “As organizations devoted to innovation and growth in the consumer economy, we will actively oppose any actions like this by companies that harm consumers by distorting the digital advertising ecosystem and undermining its operations.”Apple did not immediately respond to Geek’s request for comment.Safari 11 ships with iOS 11 and macOS 10.13, rolling out to devices starting tomorrow, Sept. 19.Google, meanwhile, is expected to launch its own Chrome ad blocker early next year.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img

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