With Safari’s latest updates to its ITP, it seems that the majority of customer’s is split in two groups. The first group is very engaged and concerned about how they are impacted, where as the other group haven’t heard about ITP.
Well, ITP is certainly something you need to be aware of as it can have a drastic effect on your data. If you’re not aware of what ITP is, then let me give you a quick history lesson.
ITP stands for Intelligent Tracking Protection and is a functionality in Apple’s Safari browser and is intended to protect users privacy. In other words, ITP is made to limit how much data websites are collecting about the users.
Prior to ITP, Safari desktop and mobile browsers blocked third-party cookies by default. This was done with the purpose of protecting users’ online privacy, as third-party cookies are often used as trackers by AdTech platforms. As a work-around AdTech Platforms figured out a way to place a first-party cookie. When users clicked an ad, the user would be directed to the AdTech platform’s domain, which would set a first-party cookie, then redirect the browser to the advertiser’s landing page. Safari would then approve the third-party cookie, as it had already been used in a first-party context. ITP 1.0 was released in 2017 and version 1.0 and 1.1 was aimed to focus on these first-party cookies acting as trackers.
Since the first version, there’s been several releases. Up until April, with the release of version 2.1, ITP had primarily been focused around blocking 3rd party cookies and hadn’t really had any major impact on either Google or Adobe Analytics. All that changed with version 2.1, as Apple started focusing and limiting 1st party cookies – specifically this means that all 1st party cookies set client-side is now limited to a lifetime of 7 days.
This means that if the visitor doesn’t return within 7 days, the cookie is deleted. When the visitor returns on day 8, he/she will get a new cookie set and is now considered a completely new visitor. So as you can see, it can have huge consequences on your data and your reports.
How can I avoid being impacted?
There are actually steps you can take to ensure you’re not being impacted. Google has yet to release a work-around, but Adobe is already offering one to all of their customers. I’ve put together a Whitepaper that explains in more details what ITP is, what challenges each of the versions of ITP have caused but also more importantly, what you can do to avoid being impacted.