What is Apple ITP?

In 2017, Apple released a feature for Safari browsers called Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP). The ITP functionality alters how Safari manages cookies, specifically the ability to access cookies in a third-party context. Apple continues to update ITP functionality since the initial release.

The ITP 2.2 update enables targeting cookies accessible in first-party context when deemed to be used for consumer tracking purposes. This update overrides the first-party defined expiration period of the cookie to 24 hours, which limits our tracking window.

ITP 2.3 introduces new behavior that – under certain circumstances – limits access to all browser storage methods (e.g. local storage) to seven days. This means that information stored in other (non-cookie) browser storage can be lost after seven days if the user hasn’t interacted with the website in the meantime. Information stored in cookies set via JavaScript scripts will still expire after 1 day when users arrive via certain cross-site capable domains with tracking links (as introduced with ITP 2.2).

How does Apple ITP work?

Apple ITP works by limiting the use of third-party cookies and certain tracking techniques used by advertisers and websites. It intelligently detects and blocks trackers from collecting user data, making it more difficult for advertisers to track user behavior across websites without explicit permission.

Why did Apple introduce ITP?

Apple introduced ITP to address growing concerns about online privacy and to give users more control over their data. By blocking tracking techniques, Apple aims to protect its users’ personal information and provide a more secure browsing experience.

Does Apple ITP block all advertising?

No, Apple ITP does not block all advertising. It primarily targets cross-site tracking techniques used by advertisers without users’ consent. Advertising that complies with Apple’s privacy guidelines and respects user preferences can still be displayed.

How does Apple ITP affect marketers and advertisers?

Apple ITP has implications for marketers and advertisers, as it restricts their ability to track user behavior and deliver targeted ads. Marketers need to adapt their strategies to rely less on cross-site tracking and explore alternative methods like contextual targeting.

Can website owners bypass Apple ITP?

Website owners cannot directly bypass Apple ITP. However, they can take steps to ensure their websites comply with Apple’s privacy guidelines and optimize their ad tracking methods within the limitations imposed by ITP.

Are there any alternatives to Apple ITP?

Yes, there are alternative tracking methods available for advertisers and marketers. For example, contextual targeting, which focuses on delivering ads based on the content of the webpage rather than individual user tracking, is one alternative that can still be effective under Apple ITP.

Does Apple ITP affect all web browsers?

No, Apple ITP is specific to Apple’s Safari web browser. Other browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Edge have their own privacy features and policies that may differ from Apple’s approach.

Can users disable Apple ITP?

Users cannot disable Apple ITP directly, as it is a built-in feature of Safari. However, they can adjust their privacy settings within Safari to further enhance their browsing privacy.

Does Apple ITP completely eliminate online tracking?

Apple ITP significantly limits online tracking, but it does not entirely eliminate it. Persistent first-party cookies are still permitted, and certain types of tracking within a single website or app are not blocked by ITP. Users should still be aware of other privacy measures and consider additional safeguards if they desire maximum privacy online.

Why It Is Important to You

ITP releases 2.2 and 2.3 impact first-party cookies when deemed to be used to track consumers, meaning advertisers will have less information about which publishers deserve to be commissioned beyond a 24-hour window. This essentially means you may get paid less. You should think about how much of your traffic comes through Safari browsers and how Apple ITP updates will affect your business and partnerships.

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