Safari’s Cookies go Stale after 24 Hours



September, 2017

Advertisers are being cautious with Apple’s new unveil of their Intelligent Tracking Prevention, or ITP, earlier in September. This ITP uses machine learning algorithms to identify tracking preventions on Safari’s browser such as 3rd  party ad networks and their persistent cookies, and then they impose a strict 24-hour time limit on the tracking lifespan.

It’s a more extreme measure to reduce ad tracking but as Apple puts it, “It’s not about blocking ads, but your privacy is protected.” Their commitment to user privacy is admirable, however many advertising companies fear this new tracking limit will create more hardships for them during a time when Facebook and Google already take up more than 90% of every ad dollar on the Internet. It’s a way to mainly harm smaller businesses while the top dogs thrive.
“This prevention limits advertisers access to your information to 24 hours.”

Apple describes the differences between the first-party and third-party cookies with ITP going after the latter. Web user’s information is collected online and used to re-target them later on different sites, following them on the Internet. This ITP will detect and delete cookies and other data used for cross-site tracking. Many advertisers believe this prevention will “drive a wedge between brands and their customers.” For smaller businesses, it will make their advertising less timely and useful saying Apple is, “overriding user choice by imposing its own set of opaque and arbitrary standards.” The argument holds that web users should have the choice whether they want to be tracked online or not, depending on whether the ads are relevant to the individual or not.

Whether or not you wish to be tracked online across multiple sites, Apple is making it tougher for 3rd  party advertising agencies to collect your information to target you. The information they do collect will exist up to 24 hours then deleted. While it may be important to keep your information private, it’s unclear how it’ll affect advertisers in an industry that’s already lopsided with Google and Facebook dominating the search engine industry. We’ll have to watch it play out and see if anything happens in response to Apple’s move.

Update: Google’s adding a new cookie to get around this while complying with Apple’s terms. Check our other blog post to learn more!

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