Earlier this year, Apple announced new measures that its web browser, Safari, would go to help protect a user’s browsing history and information.
Even at the time, Apple’s new efforts were seen as pretty aggressive, so it wasn’t surprising to see ad companies coming to the fore, saying that the changes in the new Safari would “affect the infrastructure of the modern internet.” With bold words like that, Apple had to respond, and it’s response is right in line with how the company views every other aspect to the general user of products: Their privacy matters, and they have a right to it.
In a statement made to 9to5Mac, Apple has fallen in step with its own views on privacy, and does not appear to be willing to back down, even for the major ad companies. Apple noted that Safari has constantly been on the forefront of the user’s privacy concerns, like how it was the first browser to block third-party cookies by default. And now, with its upcoming Intelligent Tracking Prevision tool baked into the web browser, purging sensitive data and web tracking is being taken to the next level:
“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 essentially explains, on a very basic level, how the feature works, saying that users will have their sensitive data and cross-site data purged, so that tracking agencies and ad agencies cannot piece together the whole puzzle. At the same time, Apple says that the tool does not block legitimate tracking, and it does not block ads:
“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.”
This response will probably make Safari users happy, at least those concerned about the heavy amount of tracking they receive on a constant basis, but ad agencies probably won’t be too keen on the fact Apple won’t be changing its mind anytime soon.