What Is Happening
At its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple announced that it would soon begin rolling out Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) 2.0, its system that prevents major web-tracking tools from identifying and tracking users on Safari.
Apple first introduced ITP in 2017 as part of its assertive stance on private data protection. Among its features, ITP 1.0 blocked the collection of any cookie without a first-party connection to the user, and limited third-party access to first-party cookies to 24 hours.
Here are some changes coming with ITP 2.0:
Elimination of the 24-hour cookie access window. Third parties will no longer have access to Safari user information from first-party cookies.
Elimination of click-tracking. ITP 2.0 detects when a domain is used purely as a “first-party bounce tracker” and will purge any data related to navigation redirecting activity that is used for first-party cookies and data storage.
Elimination of tracker collusion. Cross-site trackers work to help each other identify users. ITP 2.0 detects this behavior through a collusion graph, classifies all involved redirect domains as trackers, and subsequently prevents cross-tracking ability.
Domain-only referrer URLs. Tracking tags will no longer have visibility into the specific webpage the user is currently on. In ITP 2.0, the referrer URL is downgraded to just the domain information for third-party requests to domains that have been classified as possible trackers.
Limited fingerprinting. Fingerprinting technology identifies each user as the same individual every time such user visits a website using the same browser. ITP 2.0 limits information that the browser shares, inhibiting the ability of fingerprinting algorithms to create a unique identifier for each user. Instead, Safari will only share a simplified system profile that aggregates the information of all users.
What It Means
These changes present an industry-wide challenge. It remains unclear how heavily the industry will be impacted, but major advertising groups have written pleas to Apple regarding ITP since its launch last year. With these updates, any attempt to work around the limitations of ITP needs to extend even further.
The updated features of ITP 2.0 will further challenge advertisers’ ability to track Safari users over time and across sites and platforms, as well as attribute user activity across sessions.
What Netmining Can Do
Though these changes from Apple render advertising on Safari even more difficult, advertisers shouldn’t dismiss this large and growing share of their customer demographic.
While ITP 2.0 severely limits retargeting capabilities for Safari users, Netmining is able to optimize delivery on other collected non-first-party data, including campaign performance, publisher data, creative engagement, and device and geolocation optimizations. We leverage our network and trend-monitoring to drive our intelligence of the delivery on Safari users.
While we don’t anticipate material shifts in the current KPIs we have with our Display accounts, Netmining is actively looking into several avenues and working alongside partners to assess impact and identify potential alternative solutions to address the Safari demographic. We remain optimistic given our prior preparation for ITP 1.0 and will be prepared to advise clients regarding further developments.