Full third-party cookie blocking comes to Safari two years ahead of Chrome

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
Along with iOS 13.4, Safari was updated with improved Intelligent Tracking Prevention to include full third-party cookie blocking and other privacy features.

Safari Intelligent Tracking Prevention has lead the industry in privacy protections
Safari Intelligent Tracking Prevention has lead the industry in privacy protections


Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) was introduced in 2017 and has gained several privacy features since. Initial reactions to the release were varying as publishers worried about how this would affect cross-site tracking and related data sources for ad sales.

ITP blocked cookies before, but left enough information for trackers to begin tracking users based on what was being blocked. With the newest update, even this type of tracking and fingerprinting is blocked. Google Chrome is expected to have full third-party cookie blocking by 2022.

According to the WebKit Blog, Websites have long used login fingerprinting to track users based on login states in websites. Full third-party cookie blocking prevents websites from seeing information about the "global browser state" which allows them to see what websites you were signed into previously.

No telling yet how this will again affect ad firms, as even with its limitations previously, it was reported that hundreds of millions in revenue were being lost as a result of ITP. Apple has always taken a strong privacy stance with its devices and services, even to the point of world governments pushing for them to weaken security.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,161member
    Thank you Apple!
    drdaviddavenmdriftmeyerwatto_cobrachasm
  • Reply 2 of 15
    "No telling yet how this will again affect ad firms, as even with its limitations previously, it was reported that hundreds of millions in revenue were being lost as a result of ITP...." As someone who works for one of the big 5 holding companies, ITP had no measurable impact - work arounds for data stitching and backdoors were identified pretty quickly so no meaningful losses ever surfaced. One work around that worked well was having advertisers drop the cookie from their site so it registered as a 1st party cookie and not a 3rd party. It took Apple a couple of releases to patch that but other methods exist. Maybe smaller performance based firms seen something but collectively it never reached losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. Even blocking 3rd party cookies will have a less than expected impact because tech exists and continues to be developed for advertising to exist in a cookie-less world.
    minicoffeejony0hcrefugeesphericthe monkrundhviddysamoria
  • Reply 3 of 15
    NinjaMan said:
    "No telling yet how this will again affect ad firms, as even with its limitations previously, it was reported that hundreds of millions in revenue were being lost as a result of ITP...." As someone who works for one of the big 5 holding companies, ITP had no measurable impact - work arounds for data stitching and backdoors were identified pretty quickly so no meaningful losses ever surfaced. One work around that worked well was having advertisers drop the cookie from their site so it registered as a 1st party cookie and not a 3rd party. It took Apple a couple of releases to patch that but other methods exist. Maybe smaller performance based firms seen something but collectively it never reached losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. Even blocking 3rd party cookies will have a less than expected impact because tech exists and continues to be developed for advertising to exist in a cookie-less world.

    Translation: Asshole advertising companies will continue to find hacks, workarounds and other methods to track people even when they don’t want to be.
    flyingdprundhviddysamoriamontrosemacswatto_cobrachasm
  • Reply 4 of 15
    Still doesn't support ad blockers. About 5 years behind Chrome.
  • Reply 5 of 15
    acejax805 said:
    Still doesn't support ad blockers. About 5 years behind Chrome.
    Huh? I’ve been blocking ads on iOS for a long time so I’m not sure what you are talking about. In fact, I whitelist AppleInsider since I’m here a lot and think they should earn money. Just now I went to my blocker, de-whitelisted appleinsider.com and reloaded the site just to verify and, sure enough, ads are blocked. So again, I’m not sure what you are talking about.

    Edit: with appleinsider.com whitelisted there is an ad between comment one and comment two. Not so when de-whitelisted:


    edited March 2020 dysamoriadavenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 15
    LeoMCLeoMC Posts: 55member
    Enabled it on my devices.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    sergiozsergioz Posts: 338member
    acejax805 said:
    Still doesn't support ad blockers. About 5 years behind Chrome.


    Have you heard of AdGuard? The best Adblocker period.
    5 year behind Chrome in what way? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15

    Please explain how the third-party cookies are now blocked. Use iPad Only.

     I cleared everything and went to a website. And it is full of Google and F_c_book cookies. I have tracking-off turned on. (Cleared EVERYTHING and reset ad ID), new update, same old cookies.

    I long for the old days on my PC where I could specifically block certain sites i.e. Google.

    Old iPad running IOS8 had the ability to specifically block 3rd party cookies.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,186member
    NinjaMan said:
    "No telling yet how this will again affect ad firms, as even with its limitations previously, it was reported that hundreds of millions in revenue were being lost as a result of ITP...." As someone who works for one of the big 5 holding companies, ITP had no measurable impact - work arounds for data stitching and backdoors were identified pretty quickly so no meaningful losses ever surfaced. One work around that worked well was having advertisers drop the cookie from their site so it registered as a 1st party cookie and not a 3rd party. It took Apple a couple of releases to patch that but other methods exist. Maybe smaller performance based firms seen something but collectively it never reached losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. Even blocking 3rd party cookies will have a less than expected impact because tech exists and continues to be developed for advertising to exist in a cookie-less world.

    Translation: Asshole advertising companies will continue to find hacks, workarounds and other methods to track people even when they don’t want to be.
    So what to do? Obviously sites like AppleInsider can't survive without income, nor can most any other website we use for our news and forum discussions. The choice until now has been accepting ads, blocking ads and essentially "stealing services", or paid subscriptions to each one individually (other than something like Google Contributor which got only limited web partners).

    Now there's a service called Scroll where for $5 a month you get a no-ad browsing experience on hundreds of sites and with 70% of revenues shared with the website owner "It’s a future where users don’t get pissed off and journalists don’t get laid off." 

    Personally I think that's where things are headed for a lot of us. It's not that I'm unwilling to pay for valuable content and services and I hope that pertains to most of you too.  I for one just don't want to have 3 dozen subscriptions to cover all the sites that give me the choice of no ads or ad-supported. I'd nearly always choose no ad subscriptions unless it's a website I rarely use. For example I subscribe to YouTube, two music services, Ars and Techcrunch to avoid ads and have a couple of other subscription websites that don't come to mind right off. Services like Scroll would make it easy to manage yet still keep revenue flowing to the content creators so favorite sites don't disappear.  
    Journalists and writers can't work for free.
    watto_cobrachasm
  • Reply 10 of 15
    LeoMCLeoMC Posts: 55member
    Dogperson said:

     I cleared everything and went to a website. And it is full of Google and F_c_book cookies. I have tracking-off turned on. (Cleared EVERYTHING and reset ad ID), new update, same old cookies.

    You clearly do something wrong.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    LeoMC said:
    Dogperson said:

     I cleared everything and went to a website. And it is full of Google and F_c_book cookies. I have tracking-off turned on. (Cleared EVERYTHING and reset ad ID), new update, same old cookies.

    You clearly do something wrong.
    And you are clearly Not Helpful and add nothing to the query.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    There is no violin small enough for how little I care about advertisers. The advertising & marketing industry caused these self-inflicted injuries by being obnoxious, abusive, and generally intolerable, and they show no sign of stopping even the most egregious behaviors.
    watto_cobrabeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 13 of 15
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,186member
    dysamoria said:
    There is no violin small enough for how little I care about advertisers. The advertising & marketing industry caused these self-inflicted injuries by being obnoxious, abusive, and generally intolerable, and they show no sign of stopping even the most egregious behaviors.
    It's as much about how the website writers, researchers, and other staff are to be paid and how the website owner can see some profit from his/her investment of time and money. If you don't pay for a subscription, and unwilling to when they're offered, and use an ad blocker so that companies from Apple to Zippo are prevented from assisting with the expenses on your behalf then what are the options beyond shutting down the site?
  • Reply 14 of 15
    LeoMCLeoMC Posts: 55member
    Dogperson said:
    And you are clearly Not Helpful and add nothing to the query.
    Maybe I'm not helping you but I am surely helping everyone that could have believed your lack of knowledge (or manipulation).
  • Reply 15 of 15
    NinjaMan said:
    "No telling yet how this will again affect ad firms, as even with its limitations previously, it was reported that hundreds of millions in revenue were being lost as a result of ITP...." As someone who works for one of the big 5 holding companies, ITP had no measurable impact - work arounds for data stitching and backdoors were identified pretty quickly so no meaningful losses ever surfaced. One work around that worked well was having advertisers drop the cookie from their site so it registered as a 1st party cookie and not a 3rd party. It took Apple a couple of releases to patch that but other methods exist. Maybe smaller performance based firms seen something but collectively it never reached losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. Even blocking 3rd party cookies will have a less than expected impact because tech exists and continues to be developed for advertising to exist in a cookie-less world.

    Translation: Asshole advertising companies will continue to find hacks, workarounds and other methods to track people even when they don’t want to be.
    actually, no - when a user has explicitly removed themselves from tracking it's well adhered to and respected. What Apple is doing is making the choice for people...two different things. btw, how much do you pay to access this site? oh, that's right, the cost to operate this site is paid for by asshole advertising and may even provide the guys here an opportunity for some beer money for their hard work in providing the content.
    edited March 2020
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