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An official response to Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention tech

Recently, Apple updated their Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) technology, which is preventing 3rd party tracking pixels from dropping cookies for longer than 24 hours on Apple users running with the new version of Safari in macOS High Sierra. The tech that Apple is using (WebKit) has been built on top of Safari’s ad blocking technology to help limit the chance of cross-site tracking even further. The impact of this will start to become apparent in reporting over the next few weeks and months, so this is something that we, both as a media agency and client business advisers, need to be aware of and prepare for.

What impact will this change have?

We use cross-site 3rd party tracking in the majority of activity that we run in media. This Apple update will mean that when advertisers and publishers drop 3rd party cookies onto an Apple user’s IP, the cookie will only have a 24 hour window (lifetime). To help visualise this, please see the diagram below:

Cookie lifespan

Because this change is only just being rolled out, it is not fully clear what the total impact will be. However, here are some key areas that we will be keeping a close eye on:

  • Remarketing
  • Look-a-like profiling
  • Conversion tracking (+24hrs conversion window)

How are All Response Media preparing for this?

The larger players in the market such as Google have already created a workaround solution to prevent their pixels from being deactivated after 24 hours. Google’s solution is to implement a Global Site Tag on all pages of the site, this tag allows user data to be stored on the client’s site, rather than the data being passed on, which stops it from being 3rd party data. This solution only works for Google AdWords activity.

Other suppliers have not given their official workaround yet, meaning that we may start to become more heavily reliant on Google AdWords for running Apple targeted prospecting and retargeting in the meantime while the additional publishers get up to speed. We are also currently in discussions with DoubleClick about their work around solution, so there will be more information on this to follow in the near future.