Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention is a nightmare for ad companies

STOPNo one loves obstructive ads on many webpages. And some sites went more further – articles on magazines are splitted into “chapters”, or call it “capitoles”. This may not to be bad thing, especially for long reviews, but if one chapter contains few sentences with few words and load of ads, something is wrong. I hate this model, it’s just harvesting of money. Just imagine, for commercial webs would be great to set many ads for a little amount of text. If someone wants to read full article, he had to browse all chapters and with each chapters, many ads are loaded. As I said, I hate it, as most Internet users do so.

Ads are annoying, but is here something even worse?

Yea, and it’s called tracking. Many users report, when, for example, are looking for something in e-shop and later they see ads on that product on many, many sites. Ad blockers can hide these annoying ads from your eyes, but you are still tracked. So guys from Apple decided to create brand new feature for Safari Internet browser called “Intelligent Tracking Prevention”. It’s available for macOS High Sierra and iOS 11.

Thanks to this feature, Internet ad companies are losing out on “hundreds of millions of dollars”, as reports The Guardian. Advertising company Criteo announced in December, that Apple’s new feature could have about 22 percent net negative impact on its 2018 revenue projections. Something like this can hurt many ad companies in similar way:

“We expect a range of companies are facing similar negative impacts from Apple’s Safari tracking changes. Moreover, we anticipate that Apple will retain ITP and evolve it over time as they see fit,” said Dennis Buchheim for The Guardian.

Response from Apple came soon:

Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person’s web browsing history. This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the Internet. The new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature detects and eliminates cookies and other data used for this cross-site tracking, which means it helps keep a person’s browsing private.

Intelligent Tracking Prevention itself does not block ads, but it interacts with today Internet times in a way which can hurt business model of many sites. So there is no wonder why ad companies are complaining to Apple. Maybe in future, this feature may be included in other browsers like popular Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Of course, not all is perfect and there was workaround to bypass Intelligent Tracking Prevention on iOS 11, but this bug was fixed in iOS 11.2.

One of the most popular ad blockers is AdBlock, which, of course, works with Intelligent Tracking Prevention. There is no reason why it should not, they are different products which work great together. One of them prevents tracking and second one blocks ads. Problem is that AdBlock is passing some commercial ads, if client company pays for it. You should try another ad blockers like uBlock, and for advanced macOS and iOS users we recommend 1Blocker and Roadblock.

Intelligent Tracking Prevention is enabled by default, you can check it in Safari settings on macOS High Sierra in Safari’s Preferences under “Privacy” button where should be enabled “Prevent cross-site tracking”. On iOS, go to Settings app, find label “Safari” and make sure that “Prevent Cross-Site Tracking” is enabled. Here in iOS Safari settings you can also check status of Content Blockers – here you should enable your content blockers installed on iOS, otherwise content blockers are disabled. And as we said, we recommend 1Blocker and Roadblock.

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