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Advertising Groups Ask Apple to 'Rethink' New Cookie Tracking Standards in Safari 11

In the upcoming version of Safari 11 on macOS High Sierra, Apple will implement a new "Intelligent Tracking Prevention" feature that builds upon Safari's default blocking of third-party cookies. ITP will greatly limit advertiser reach by placing new safeguards into Safari that use machine learning to suppress cross-site tracking and purge ad retargeting data after 24 hours.

In response, six trade and marketing organizations have written an open letter to Apple asking for the Cupertino company to "rethink" its plan to launch Safari with these new "arbitrary" cookie standards (via AdWeek).

The organizations argue that the Internet's infrastructure depends on consistent standards for cookies, saying that Apple's new ruleset could "sabotage the economic model for the Internet."

On the consumer side of things, the organizations stated that the blocking of cookies in Apple's manner will result in ads that are "more generic" for users, while also being "less timely and useful." The signed organizations include: American Association of Advertising Agencies, American Advertising Federation, Association of National Advertisers, Data & Marketing Association, Interactive Advertising Bureau, and Network Advertising Initiative.
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.

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. Put simply, machine-driven cookie choices do not represent user choice; they represent browser-manufacturer choice. 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.
On Apple's WebKit site, the company explains that Intelligent Tracking Prevention is meant to ensure user trust is kept during the web browsing experience on Safari, because "the success of the web as a platform relies on user trust." Also coming in Safari on High Sierra is an autoplay blocking feature, which will prevent videos from automatically playing when you open up a web page. This morning, Google announced a similar feature is coming to Chrome in January 2018.

The new Safari will launch when macOS High Sierra becomes available for download on Monday, September 25.

Tag: Safari


Top Rated Comments

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15 months ago
Ha! Good luck with that and all.

"Apple's unilateral and heavy-handed approach is bad for consumer choice"

Somebody help! I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe!
Rating: 88 Votes
15 months ago

Apple's unilateral and heavy-handed approach is bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services consumers love.

Who the **** loves ads!?
Rating: 59 Votes
15 months ago
Oh well, Advertising Groups CAN SUCK IT!!!!

Sorry, got a bit carried away there.
Rating: 52 Votes
15 months ago

Content on the internet costs money to produce. Advertising pays the bills for site hosting and content creation.

I don't know why people revel in blocking the revenue streams that grant them these things.


Its not ads that is the issue, it the cross site data gathering that is the issue.
Rating: 47 Votes
15 months ago
You know if advertising agencies are upset, Apple did something right for privacy.
Rating: 41 Votes
15 months ago
As opposed to the unilateral heavy handed approach of the advertisers. If they hadn't gone all intrusive on us none of this would be necessary. The advertisers crossed the line first, this is a proportionate response, each time attempts have been made to block them with user controls the advertisers have ignored them or found a way round them. Users and companies like Apple have tried being respectful, advertisers have no one but themselves to blame for this. They need to rework their model to work without treating our personal data as their property to be sold on to whomever they wish.
Rating: 41 Votes
15 months ago
"...drive a wedge between brands and their customers..."

Oh the horror! Won't someone will think of the brands???
Rating: 26 Votes
15 months ago
Anything that offers up more privacy and fewer ads is gold for me. I want to be respected as a consumer, able to make my own choices about my needs, seek them out on my own and be helped by knowledgeable people when I want information on what to purchase. I do not want to be some kind of Pavlovian lab experiment to see what temptation at what level of obtrusiveness based on past behaviour (which quite frankly is no one's damned business) will most make me want to spend money.

Find another way to monetize your business. And no, finding that way for you is not on me as a consumer.
Rating: 23 Votes
15 months ago
The new Intelligent Tracking Prevention only helps increase consumer privacy.

Google has already modified AdWords in order to work within the requirements Apple offers.

It seems other advertiser are just lazy and want to continue tracking consumers as much as they like, without Apple looking out for their privacy.

Seems this article misses the biggest problem advertisers see here. It's not the release of High Sierra on the 25th but rather iOS 11 which also includes ITP. Mobile Safari makes up as much as 50% of mobile web browsing (yes the browser accounts for less than Android but iOS users have been shown to browse much more than Android users). To lose tracking on 50% of mobile traffic would be a HUGE blow to many advertisers.
Rating: 21 Votes
15 months ago

Sadly many miss this point. Advertisement is how many of the sites we enjoy (including MacRumors) exist. They can't pay their bills without advertisements. If you want your favorite site to continue operating and providing you with great content, you really should allow advertisements on that site (whitelist them with your ad blocker).


I think maybe you are missing the point. I don't mind ads. However, I don't want to look at an item on Amazon and then have that item show up on every other website I visit for 6 months. It's the tracking and targeting of ads that I don't like, not the ads themselves. Apple isn't trying to block ads here, they are trying to block the user tracking and targeting of ads.

ha, this is one really nice thing about brick and mortar retail stores. If I look at a pair of pants in the store, every billboard on the way home isn't showing me those pants.
Rating: 18 Votes

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