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Concerns Grow Among Ad Industry with Rollout of iOS 11

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In late September, Apple released the next update to its extremely popular operating system, iOS 11. Like most operating system updates it includes the normal performance improvements, security patches or bug fixes you’d expect.  This time through, Apple also introduced Intelligent Tracking Protection in its Safari browser, and major players in the ad industry are particularly concerned about how this could play out in the future.  That’s because “Intelligent Tracking Protection” sets a limit on how long certain cookies — the the ones usually used to track users for advertising and ad targeting —  can exist in the browser before they are automatically deleted.

Apple has (seemingly) been a leader in fighting for consumer privacy when it comes to the development of its products, as we’ve seen in the past with its implementation of Differential Privacy in iOS 10, as well as its refusal to assist the CIA in accessing the phone of  Syed Farook, the man responsible for the mass shooting in San Bernadino, California in December 2015.

Intelligent Tracking Protection

With the introduction of iOS 11, Apple has added a 24-hour tracking limit on ad targeting cookies, which is not sitting well with advertisers, unsurprisingly. While this impacts many third-party tracking systems, advertisers like Google and Facebook will likely not see much of an effect, due to the fact that a large majority people are visiting Google and Facebook on a daily basis, and most of those people stay logged in to those services whenever they’re online.

The largest issue that marketing companies are facing with the new 24-hour tracking limit is the loss of ‘attribution data’ when users take particular action on a website outside of the new 24-hour window. For example, if a user clicks on an ad to learn about a new product on Monday,

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