In their view, Apple’s efforts to combat user tracking of ad networks are threatening the entire digital advertising industry.
A group of advertising companies, consisting of the six largest players in the US market, including the Advertising Bureau and 4A, sent an open letter to Apple, saying that the company is “sabotaging the economic model of the Internet” by introducing new privacy technologies in the Safari browser. This was reported by the portal Adweek.
Representatives of the advertising market were worried that Apple began to take “decisive action to get rid of ad tracking” in both the mobile and desktop versions of Safari, affecting an entire segment of the advertising industry.
The open email was a reaction to a new feature on macOS that Apple called Intelligent Tracking Prevention or ITP. For the first time it became known in June 2017 at the WWDC developer conference. The essence of ITP is that, using machine learning algorithms, the Safari browser monitors cookies (necessary for identifying users) from third-party advertising networks and enters a 24-hour limit on these tools. After that, cookies are erased. At the same time, when the company introduced a new setting, it stated that it was not about blocking ads, but about protecting privacy.
However, according to the consolidation of advertising networks, Apple’s new approach will not affect only the largest players: Google and Facebook, on the sites of which users spend almost the whole day, only occasionally visiting other resources. At the same time, both companies already receive more than 90% of every new dollar spent on advertising on the Internet.
Advertising networks believe that this way Apple’s 24-hour limit does not make sense. Users most likely will not have time to take action on other sites necessary for the issuance of relevant ads. In addition, this may affect the collection of advertising statistics.
The letter states that “the decision to block cookies is not the choice of users, but the choice of the browser manufacturer.” Its authors believe that Apple imposes its “opaque and obscure standards” on users. Advertising companies offered to give users a choice, because it is thanks to cookies that they can receive relevant advertisements.