What is Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention and how will it affect ad targeting and user tracking?

What is Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention and how will it affect ad targeting and user tracking?

Following an earlier announcement that Safari will prevent cross-site tracking, Apple has revealed that the new version of the browser will now include a feature called Intelligent Tracking Prevention.

Back at the beginning of June, Apple Senior VP, Craig Federighi said that the incoming initiative would use machine-learning to stop trackers from following users as they move from website to website. As Marketing Land reports, this includes both third-party trackers and ad trackers, such as those used for Remarketing campaigns.

As their latest announcement reveals, Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention will do this by providing a new built-in 24-hour window. This means that although information will still be collected on resource loads and user interactions (including clicks and text entries), the system will determine which cookies will be able to track user activity across sites, and these will only remain available for one day in third-party contexts.

The cookie will then be partitioned so that it can be referenced for login data for 30 days, although it won’t be able to be used for cross-site tracking. After this 30-day period has ended, the cookie will be purged to prevent it from collecting any more new data.

Although no specific dates have been confirmed yet, we do know that Intelligence Tracking Prevention will be included in the next desktop version of Safari. This will be available in macOS High Sierra, which will be released in autumn. It will also become a standard part of Safari browsing.

The TJM take: Apple’s Intelligence Tracking Prevention will work somewhat similarly to an ad blocker, which is likely to appeal to a lot of users. Is this a clever tactic to boost their (slightly) troubled hardware sales?

We see the big winners as being the in app marketers. As Marketing Land also points out, the new feature will give Facebook and Google a bigger advantage over other tech companies. As they explain, this is because “daily visits to Google services will keep its tracking capabilities persistent”, while Facebook users’ activity is mostly in-app (and can therefore still be tracked by the platform).

Our take is that this may create a mad scramble for the first day interactions which will push up costs dramatically; in fact, we even think this will be an issue for Google search. This is because the cookies would still be blocked as Google use is rarely ‘in-app’.

We also forecast needing An ‘apple’ and ‘non-Apple’ campaign structure. Yawn…

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