Intelligent Tracking Prevention in iOS 11 and High Sierra Causing Ad Firms Revenue to Decline

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 10 Jan 2018

safari on iphone

With iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, Apple introduced Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature in Safari which prevents ads from tracking a user’s behavior on the web. With iOS 11 now running on millions of devices and users upgrading to macOS High Sierra, ad firms have started seeing a decline in their ad revenues.

Criteo, one of the largest online advertising firm, says that Intelligent Tracking Prevention has projected a 22 percent decline in its net revenues. The overall revenue of Criteo in 2016 topped $730 million. Other advertising companies are in a similar boat and expecting a huge decline in their revenues in 2018.

“We expect a range of companies are facing similar negative impacts from Apple’s Safari tracking changes. Moreover, we anticipate that Apple will retain ITP and evolve it over time as they see fit,” Buchheim told the Guardian.

“There will surely be some continued efforts to ‘outwit’ ITP, but we recommend more sustainable, responsible approaches in the short-term,” Buchheim added. “We also want to work across the industry (ideally including Apple) longer-term to address more robust, cross-device advertising targeting and measurement capabilities that are also consumer friendly.”

When iOS 11 was initially released, many ad agencies used a workaround to bypass the Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature of the OS. This led Criteo to estimate that they would only see a drop of around 10 percent in their revenues. However, Apple patched the workaround with iOS 11.2 which has led the company to revise the impact of the feature on its revenues.

Apple was earlier asked to rethink its position about Intelligent Tracking Prevention as it endangers the only source of revenue for internet publishers on which the majority of the world wide web is based on. The open letter from six ad agencies criticised Apple for not following the internet standard which requires a cookie to remain on a device until it expires automatically or unless manually removed.

Apple in its defense said that ad tracking has become so invasive that it is virtually possible for ad agencies to recreate the browsing history of a person. It notes that this is done without the clear consent of the user and is a breach of their privacy.

What do you think about the Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature of Safari in iOS 11 and macOS? Do you think Apple has done the right thing here?

[Via The Guardian]