Apple addresses ad industry complaints over Safari tracking prevention feature

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2017
In response to advertising industry objections to Safari's new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature, Apple on Friday explained how the service is a boon for both consumers and ad services who use it responsibly.




On Thursday, six ad industry groups penned an open letter criticizing Apple's upcoming Safari feature, saying the decision to incorporate such technology into a web browser is heavy-handed and "bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services."

Today, Apple responded to the missive in a statement provided to The Loop.

"Apple believes that people have a right to privacy - Safari was the first browser to block third party cookies by default and Intelligent Tracking Prevention is a more advanced method for protecting user privacy," Apple said. "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. The feature does not block ads or interfere with legitimate tracking on the sites that people actually click on and visit. Cookies for sites that you interact with function as designed, and ads placed by web publishers will appear normally."

Announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Safari's intelligent cookie blocker uses machine learning algorithms to reduce invasive cross-site ad vendor tracking. Touted as a privacy feature, the technology obscures a user's online activity from being tracked without their knowledge.

As noted by Apple in a June post to the WebKit blog, "Many users feel that trust is broken when they are being tracked and privacy-sensitive data about their web activity is acquired for purposes that they never agreed to."

Apple documentation notes Intelligent Tracking Prevention collects statistics on resource loads induced by a cookie, as well as welcome user interactions such as clicks and text entries on a visited site. Cookies that are deemed "allowed" can be used by third parties for one day after the user last visits an associated website. After the first day, and out to 30 days, the cookie is partitioned. This means users can stay logged in to infrequently visited sites, but restricts the use of cookies for cross-site tracking.

Intelligent Tracking Prevention will roll out on both iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, which launch later this month.
lolliver
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    Sounds great.
    magman1979brian greenGeorgeBMachike1272pscooter63bshanklolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 67
    Awesome! Thanks, Apple, for looking after my privacy. Too many sites *ahem* Google, Facebook exist for ad $$. I'll control my data thanks. Keep up the good work, Apple!
    kingofsomewherehotgregoriusmrepressthismagman1979brian greenSoundJudgmentGeorgeBMacgeorgie01montrosemacshike1272
  • Reply 3 of 67
    Thank you Apple,

    You have the the courage and leadership to consider my privacy, considering how much you could make beinging google.
    Security is worth fighting for, from hackers or governments, if there's a difference anymore.

    The internet does not exist or operate based on ads, that's only one business model.
    My privacy forces government agencies to actually work at their job, ads should be no different.
    Companies need to stop acting like children, get creative with ingagement and man up to the real world.

    Earn my time and my business, anything else is disrespectful to the customer and the company both.
    magman1979brian greenSoundJudgmentgeorgie01montrosemacshike1272steveauwatto_cobrabadmonkjony0
  • Reply 4 of 67
    Dang. I didn't even know it was that evil. 

    Thanks Apple!

    How bad are things that there exists exactly ONE tech company willing to stand for what's right in regard to user privacy?

    just another reason I don't go anywhere else for my tech needs both personally and professionally. 

    Not only do do they make the best stuff, but they care about the ramifications of use. 


    magman1979brian greenSoundJudgmentmontrosemacshike1272baconstangsphericsteveaulolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 67
    Thank you Apple for your courage, despite people calling you not doing enough, doing too much or just simply being Apple. I see what I see and I choose your products (Safari) happily to any other brands (Chrome, Explorer, etc).
    magman1979brian greenSoundJudgmentgeorgie01hike1272baconstangsteveaulolliverwatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 6 of 67
    Regardless of what Apple does on this there will be some group ticked off about it. Cave into the ad industry's demands and you'll upset 98% of the population. Protect privacy and they get complaints from the ad group. Unfortunately a lot of companies have turned in favor of the ones with the fat wallets. It's nice to have Apple on the side of the consumer.
    magman1979SoundJudgmentpujones1montrosemacsmattinozsteveaupscooter63lolliverwatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 7 of 67
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 314member
    I think this is great and applaud Apple for implementing this feature. I understand that Ads are necessary sources of income for companies, but I don't get why ad companies think they have a right to track everything we do. I saw a news report today that Chrome is going to block auto-playing video with its next release. I know Apple announced this as well - I hope they do it soon.
    gregoriusmmagman1979brian greensteveauwatto_cobrabadmonkjony0
  • Reply 8 of 67
    So what if websites are not supporting Safari as a result...kinda like how Spotify just decided to stop supporting Safari? I know thats a slightly different issue, but I wonder if websites would go this far as to try and do something like this, possibly by pressure from advertisers?

    That being said...anything like that might backfire. They'd be limiting themselves as there are a lot of Safari users worldwide. 


    I think its great that Apple continues to lead in this area. Its a damn shame others won't follow suit. There are non-intrusive ways to advertise. Advertising as a whole has gotten way out of hand IMO...both on the internet, radio, TV, etc. I don't know where this shove everything down someone's throat came from. Its not a good way to advertise and I can only speak for myself, but I will not buy something just because it keep getting nagged about it. In fact, I may purposely NOT buy something because of it. 
    edited September 2017 magman1979pujones1baconstangsteveauwatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 9 of 67
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,280member
    Thanks Apple!    It is a start but im not sure it is agressive enough.  Somebody with deep pockets needs to bring a law suite agsinst these guys for theft of services.  
    magman1979brian greenoseamewatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 10 of 67
    This trumps all other companies but in a good way.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 67
    This is why I buy Apple products. Period. 
    magman1979radarthekatGeorgeBMacmontrosemacswatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 12 of 67
    Blacklisting a browser would be great. It's like when I accidentally click on a link that takes me to a site that pops a window telling me I have to disable my ad blocker to see the content. It's a hassle, because I have to move the mouse to the window to close the popup and the site itself. I'm looking at you, Forbes. It just too bad there aren't a billion other content sites I can go to with a reasonable, non-intrusive business model. Oh. Wait. There are.
    edited September 2017 magman1979dysamoriamontrosemacswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 67
    macxpress said:
    So what if websites are not supporting Safari as a result...kinda like how Spotify just decided to stop supporting Safari? I know thats a slightly different issue, but I wonder if websites would go this far as to try and do something like this, possibly by pressure from advertisers?

    That being said...anything like that might backfire. They'd be limiting themselves as there are a lot of Safari users worldwide. 


    I think its great that Apple continues to lead in this area. Its a damn shame others won't follow suit. There are non-intrusive ways to advertise. Advertising as a whole has gotten way out of hand IMO...both on the internet, radio, TV, etc. I don't know where this shove everything down someone's throat came from. Its not a good way to advertise and I can only speak for myself, but I will not buy something just because it keep getting nagged about it. In fact, I may purposely NOT buy something because of it. 
    And lose their highest demo clients? What? Advertisers would be dumb as brick to do that.
    Specifically doing that could cause a backlash for those websites and companies.

    gregoriusmmagman1979badmonk
  • Reply 14 of 67
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,526member
    Thank you Apple. :-)
    gregoriusmmagman19792old4funwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 67
    Kudos, Apple. And thank you. 
    gregoriusmmagman19792old4funwatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 16 of 67

    On Thursday, six ad industry groups penned an open letter criticizing Apple's upcoming Safari feature, saying the decision to incorporate such technology into a web browser is heavy-handed and "bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services."



    Lol these ad industry groups are trying to spin this as bad for consumer choice lol keep trying nobody likes intrusive ads. I'm glad Apple is doing this couldn't happen to a better group of people. 
    gregoriusmmagman19792old4fundysamoriamontrosemacsoseamewatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 17 of 67
    AppleInsider said:
    ... 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. ...
    Yes, this helps some and I applaud that. But, I sure hope people don't get the impression it keeps one's browsing private. Sheesh, even a VPN and fresh browser don't do that anymore.
    badmonk
  • Reply 18 of 67
    Wish Apple would put their attention on other facets of our privacy and help to put every bloody credit reporting agency out of business, especially Equifax and Experian. If iOS device users were able to hold and protect their own credit history info on-device and backed up to a distributed and encrypted Blockchain record, there would no longer be an issue with critical personal information hacks or compromised third-party companies.
    buzdotswatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 19 of 67
    How long before websites start displaying something like

    "This site is unavaible to you using your current browser. Click this link to download an alternative OS that will allow you to experience our site to its full potential."

    They will find ways to strike back at Apple and its users. They always do.

    Kudos to apple for doing this though.
    2old4funlkruppmontrosemacsadonissmuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 67
    macxpress said:
    So what if websites are not supporting Safari as a result...kinda like how Spotify just decided to stop supporting Safari? I know thats a slightly different issue, but I wonder if websites would go this far as to try and do something like this, possibly by pressure from advertisers?
    Once upon a time, Safari stopped supporting Adobe Flash. And Apple took a stand against it to drive adoption of the emerging HTML5 standard.
    GeorgeBMac2old4funericthehalfbeemontrosemacsmagman1979oseamepscooter63adonissmubadmonk
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