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Intelligent Tracking Prevention – Apple improves Safari Privacy with iOS 12

User data through online tracking is one of the most important sources of information for any internet-based company like Facebook or Google. Of course collecting this kind of data through online tracking with cookies improves their business at the expense of people’s privacy. Apple has always been a stickler for privacy and data protection and introduces Intelligent Tracking Prevention for Safari with iOS 12 to protect against online tracking.

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What happens to users data?

Intelligent Tracking Prevention is probably Facebook and Googles worst nightmare as it focuses on Social Plugins mostly used by Facebook and websites to analyze user behaviour. Most users are not aware that liking a post or posting a comment tells Facebook a lot about their personal online behaviour. Lots of Websites have specialized programs for tracking and analyzing user data for their own purposes, like customized marketing campaigns. With “Intelligent Tracking Prevention” Apple plans to undermine and limit the infinite data collecting and online tracking. Craig Federighi said that Apple will stop limitless data tracking starting in 2018 at the WWDC keynote. Read more about the WWDC keynote here.

Users decide what happens to their data

After the Safari intelligent tracking prevention update every time a website wants to collect data with cookies in Safari, a Pop-Up window will inform users of the intent to tracking online movement and the user can choose if data tracking is allowed or not. This step endangers Facebook in their strategy to make the social network more personalized for individual users as well as their marketing campaigns. With a 30 percent global market share, Safari is the runner up to Google Chrome in market shares. The Safari update will impact Facebook and might also have an impact on Google. The tracking feature will be introduced with iOS 12 and improve protection against online tracking for every Safari user worldwide.

How to improve Safari privacy

Settings → Safari → Privacy & Security

To improve your privacy and security, open your “Settings” and go to “Safari” there you will find all available privacy and security features in the section “Privacy & Security”. If the setting has an extensive impact on your online activities, Apple lists the effects and asks for confirmation before activating the feature.

Note: For more privacy in Safari you can also start Safari in Private Mode. Learn how to automatically start Safari in Private Mode.

Impact on advertisers

The update will also have a huge effect on advertisers,who are now used to having tracking data in huge amounts for analysis. The update will also disable the possibility for “Fingerprinting”, a practice used to generate a digital fingerprint of every device used online. The digital fingerprint includes data about software installed on the device, date of manufacture, screen size and other data to identify every single device and connected user. In the future Safari will only provide very limited information which can no longer be connected to specific devices and users.

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