iOS 12.2 and Safari 12.1 for macOS Include Updated Intelligent Tracking Prevention Feature

Safari in the iOS 12.2 beta and Safari 12.1 for macOS High Sierra and Mojave includes an updated version of Intelligent Tracking Prevention, according to details shared on Apple's WebKit blog.

ITP 2.1, as Apple is calling it, caps client-side cookie storage to seven days. After this time period, cookies expire. As outlined by Apple, this offers improvements in privacy, security, and performance. From Apple's WebKit blog:

- Cross-site trackers have started using first-party sites' own cookie jars for the purpose of persistent tracking. The first-party storage space is especially troublesome for privacy since all tracker scripts in the first-party context can read and write each other's data. Say social.example writes a user tracking ID as a news.example first-party cookie. Now analytics.example, adnetwork.example, and video.example can leverage or cross pollinate that user tracking ID through their scripts on news.example.

- Cookies available in document.cookie can be stolen by speculative execution attacks on memory. Therefore, they should not carry sensitive information such as credentials.

- Cookies available in document.cookie can be stolen by cross-site scripting attacks. Again, therefore, they should not carry sensitive information such as credentials.

- The proliferation of cookies slows down page and resource loads since cookies are added to every applicable HTTP request. Additionally, many cookies have high entropy values which means they cannot be compressed efficiently. We come across sites with kilobytes of cookies sent in every resource request.

- There is a size limit on outgoing cookie headers for performance reasons, and websites risk hitting this limit when cross-site trackers add first-party cookies. We've investigated reports of news site subscribers getting spuriously logged out, and found that trackers were adding so many cookies that the news site's legitimate login cookie got pushed out.

The cookie storage limits will not log users out as long as websites are using the appropriate authentication cookies because it only affects cookies created through document.cookie.

ITP 2.1 also allows for just a single set of cookies per site rather than multiples, and third party tools with cross-site tracking capabilities need to use the Storage Access API to get cookie access.

Apple says this change simplifies cookie behavior for developers, lowers the memory footprint of Safari, and makes Intelligent Tracking Prevention compatible with more platforms.

A verified partitioned cache for cutting down on cache abuse for tracking purposes is also included, and as we covered earlier this month, support for Do Not Track has been disabled.

Apple says that it is removing Do Not Track because most websites never paid any attention to it since it was opt-in and could be ignored.

The DNT project recently ended without the publication of a standard, in part "because there has not been sufficient deployment of these extensions (as defined) to justify further advancement." Given the lack of deployment of DNT and Safari's on by default privacy protections such as ITP, Safari removed support for DNT so that users are not presented with a misleading and ineffective privacy control that, if anything, only offered additional browser fingerprinting entropy.

Additional details on the Intelligent Tracking Prevention updates being introduced are available via Apple's full WebKit blog post.

Tag: Safari

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
19 months ago
Eh, I never liked that tracking prevention stuff. Just be smart, and advertisers won't learn a thing about you.



Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago

Can you elaborate? Your screenshot doesn't seem to illustrate much other than you being interested in Singles sites.

Some ideas for people:
[LIST=1]
* Use Private Browsing for sites you don't want tracking you. This loads the site into a blank slate, with no existing cookies in place.
* Use /etc/hosts to block common ad-serving hosts. These load from 127.0.0.1 (localhost) and the requests will never leave your computer.

wooosh
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago

Can you elaborate? Your screenshot doesn't seem to illustrate much other than you being interested in Singles sites.

Some ideas for people:
[LIST=1]
* Use Private Browsing for sites you don't want tracking you. This loads the site into a blank slate, with no existing cookies in place.
* Use /etc/hosts to block common ad-serving hosts. These load from 127.0.0.1 (localhost) and the requests will never leave your computer.

It’s a joke comment.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago

Eh, I never liked that tracking prevention stuff. Just be smart, and advertisers won't be able to learn a thing about you.

This made my evening. Thank you.

Can you elaborate? Your screenshot doesn't seem to illustrate much other than you being interested in Singles sites.

Some ideas for people:
[LIST=1]
* Use Private Browsing for sites you don't want tracking you. This loads the site into a blank slate, with no existing cookies in place.
* Use /etc/hosts to block common ad-serving hosts. These load from 127.0.0.1 (localhost) and the requests will never leave your computer.

I know of two things that can break the speed of sound: the Concorde, and that joke flying over your head.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago
If only we could have a functional cookie manager...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago
I completely wipe cookies every time I think of it - say, every 1-3 days.

It's never been a negative.

Cookies aren't for users, they're for advertisers and people who want to track you.

Passwords aren't an issue with password fill.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...

2020 iMac Benchmarks Surface Online [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 7:16 am PDT by
Benchmarks from the new 2020 iMac have today been shared online by Mac Otakara. The Geekbench benchmarks are from the newly-released 27-inch iMac with 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 processor and Radeon Pro 5300 graphics, compared to multiple specs of the previous 2019 iMac. The lowest spec 27-inch i5 iMac from 2020 performs about 20 percent better in multicore than the lowest spec 27-inch i5...

Third-Party RAM for 27-inch iMac Still Far More Affordable Than Apple's Checkout Upgrade Options

Wednesday August 5, 2020 3:06 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, and up to a whopping 128GB of RAM. To max out the RAM at checkout, Apple charges an additional $2,600, which is like buying another whole iMac. Fortunately, the memory in the 27-inch iMac is user-replaceable thanks to the easily-accessible memory backdoor...