Privacy and Cookies – the New Balance Introduced by Apple
Apple is set to introduce a new feature in the Safari browser that will significantly reduce advertisers’ ability to collect and use personal data. The new feature, called Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), imposes a 24-hour time limit on third party tracking cookies and a 30-day time limit on first party cookies. The purpose of ITP is to place a limit on the ability to track the online activities of internet users. The clear result is that businesses which provide, either for themselves or for other parties, various details that stem from such cookies, will now be limited in the scope of the collection of the information from these cookies, thus striking a new balance between internet users and online businesses, especially advertising ventures. In the end, Apple noted, it believes “people have a right to privacy.”
ITP is already causing significant ripples in the ad industry. Six advertising trade groups have issued an open letter to Apple claiming this new feature will sabotage the economic model for the internet and make Facebook and Google even more powerful. The trading groups argue that ITP will make advertising less useful to the internet user, as well as cause online businesses to change their business model and charge internet users for activities and content that until now were free.
There is no doubt this tug of war between the advertising industry, as well as all those businesses served by it, and the tech giants introducing more features aimed at increasing the protection of the privacy of internet users, and who have the power to implement them, will continue for the foreseeable future. But we think one can safely say the world is moving in the direction of introducing additional and better safeguards of private information. All stakeholders will have to adjust accordingly.