Safari Anti-Tracking Feature Takes Toll On Digital Advertising
By: Ben Shapiro
Safari’s latest anti-tracking tool update represents a challenge for digital advertisers. The feature, also known as “Intelligent Tracking Prevention,” was first debuted last year and recently has been updated to completely prevent tracking cookies on the browser.
Cookies allow advertisers to better understand a user’s online behavior by monitoring their journey across websites. Once attached to a user, they give advertisers insight into the subsequent websites visited. This makes them vital for two important practices in digital advertising––remarketing and calculating return on ad spend.
Though this change is only on Safari, it represents a major challenge for advertisers. Safari is the dominant browser in the US, capturing more than 50% of mobile usage. When asked to rate the severity of ITP’s impact digital advertising, Simon Harris, head of programmatic activation at Dentsu Aegis Network, pegged it as “a seven or eight” out of ten.
Remarketing and conversion tracking represent a valuable piece of third party ad servers’ business, meaning they likely won’t take this update lying down. Upon the first release last year, Google quickly responded with a workaround that kept tracking intact. A similar response can be expected this time, as well.