Apple announced last week that although cookies will continue to operate on users’ Safari browsers , Apple will purge all their data after 24 hours as opposed to the 30-day standard marketers and ad-tech companies have been accustomed to.
Intelligent Tracking Prevention or ITP, will be launching in the next Safari version on desktop and mobile this fall.
In the US, the six advertising trade associations — 4A’s, American Advertising Federation, Association of National Advertisers, Interactive Advertising Bureau, the Data & Marketing Association and Network Advertising Initiative — have sent an open letter to Apple arguing that Apple’s update will hurt the user experience by not providing consumers with a choice to enable the ITP function and by making it harder for marketers to show consumers ads that are relevant to them.
Following is the letter addressed and undersigned by IAB to Apple on the matter:
September 14, 2017
An Open Letter from the Digital Advertising Community
The undersigned organizations are leading trade associations for the digital advertising and marketing industries, collectively representing thousands of companies that responsibly participate in and shape today’s digital landscape for the millions of consumers they serve.
We are deeply concerned about the Safari 11 browser update that Apple plans to release, as it overrides and replaces existing user-controlled cookie preferences with Apple’s own set of opaque and arbitrary standards for cookie handling.
Safari’s new “Intelligent Tracking Prevention” would change the rules by which cookies are set and recognized by browsers. In addition to blocking all third-party cookies (i.e. those set by a domain other than the one being visited), as the current version of Safari does, this new functionality would create a set of haphazard rules over the use of first-party cookies (i.e. those set by a domain the user has chosen to visit) that block their functionality or purge them from users’ browsers without notice or choice.
The infrastructure of the modern Internet depends on consistent and generally applicable standards for cookies, so digital companies can innovate to build content, services, and advertising that are personalized for users and remember their visits. Apple’s Safari move breaks those standards and replaces them with an amorphous set of shifting rules that will hurt the user experience and sabotage the economic model for the Internet.
Apple’s unilateral and heavy-handed approach is bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services consumers love. Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful. Put simply, machine-driven cookie choices do not represent user choice; they represent browser-manufacturer choice. As organizations devoted to innovation and growth in the consumer economy, we will actively oppose any actions like this by companies that harm consumers by distorting the digital advertising ecosystem and undermining its operations.
We strongly encourage Apple to rethink its plan to impose its own cookie standards and risk disrupting the valuable digital advertising ecosystem that funds much of today’s digital content and services.
American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s)
American Advertising Federation (AAF)
Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
Data & Marketing Association (DMA)
Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
Network Advertising Initiative (NAI)