September 29, 2017 | 4 min read
Security news: Apple releases context ad blocking
How can users avoid context ads? That’s a question Apple found the answer to. The launch of iOS 11 will feature a new Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) technology built into the Safari browser. This mechanism uses several methods to reduce ad-tracking and can limit the usage of cookies for ad retargeting for up to 24 hours. What’s more, ITP technology entirely deletes a site’s cookies if you don’t visit it for 30 days. Brilliant idea, isn’t it?
This new feature is a great plus for Apple products since users are tired of irrelevant ads. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. The advertising industry claims it is a form of internet sabotage.
Sophos, a leading British security company, reported, “Six major advertising consortia have signed an open letter to Apple in which they claim that Apple is replacing the current model of user-controlled cookie preferences with its own set of ‘opaque and arbitrary standards' for cookie handling.”
In spite of the accusatory letter, Apple believes that users have a right to privacy and intends to continue developing the feature. Apple also noted that Safari was the first browser to block third-party cookies by default. Thus, Intelligent Tracking Prevention stands out as a more advanced method for protecting users’ privacy.
This confirms that ad tracking companies have an opportunity to recreate a user’s unauthorized collected browsing history and use it for ad retargeting (the way ads follow people on the web). The Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature makes it possible to find and remove cookies and other data used for cross-site tracking. This should provide much more privacy to a user’s web history.
If everything goes according to Apple’s plan, users won't become ad victims just by clicking on a site by mistake. And it would be a huge relief to senior users who are often transferred to ad sites unintentionally.
One more advantage – if users click an ad by mistake, they will be automatically redirected from the advertising page. Incorrect clicks waste money for any legitimate adclick company. Thus, ad blocking technology can greatly reduce a company's costs.