Apple recently rolled out iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. Both include Safari’s new privacy feature called Intelligent Tracking Prevention.

The system places new constraints on how cookies are used to personalize ads. While Safari currently blocks third-party cookies, ITP will delete first-party cookies as well if the user did not interact with the site in the past 30 days.

iOS 11 only impacts users using Safari. According to StatCounter Research, Safari is used by 14.9% of all internet users.

Impact on Safari Browsers:

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1. Safari browsers will begin deleting first-party cookies after 30 days if users did not visit the same site (to refresh the cookie) and already blocks third-party cookies entirely from loading within the browser.

2. Standard tracking for collected hits such as page views, events, transactions etc. should not be impacted according to the documentation provided online and via Apple. AKA majority of the data collection should not be affected, but this will need to be confirmed as it is rolled out further.

Analytics Impact:

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1. User metrics – for web tracking, GA uses first-party cookies to identify users anonymously (new vs. returning). If a user does not visit the site again within 30 days, they will be classified as a New User in any +30 day future sessions.
2. This behavior affects mobile web and desktop web browsing for Safari/Apple based devices.
3. There is no impact on mobile app tracking.

Impact on Remarketing and Digital Advertising

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The major impact may be around remarketing and digital advertising that leverages 3rd party cookies, though this has already been the case with Safari browser according to the online documentation below. It is highly recommended that you consult your advertising agency to determine if and how your advertising will be affected.

For more information and background on Apple’s decision to update Safari, please see articles here and here.


Have questions about how Intelligent Tracking Prevention will impact your websites and user interactions? Contact your InfoTruct Consultant today!

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