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Apple wants to limit user tracking by online ads

Apple today released a report on the WebKit (Safari development engine) about a new feature that the company has been testing to limit the invasion of web ads without permanently eliminating them: Privacy Preserving Ad Click Attribution (something like “Preserving Privacy Preserving Advertising” in free translation).

The name, although complicated, has a very simple function; In short, the tool aims to eliminate the identifying factor that generally online ads have. That is, Apple does not intend to end the advertisements (after all, the web remains mostly free thanks to them), but rather to prevent companies behind these advertisements from accessing user information.

By removing identifiability from the equation, Apple says its new technology can help preserve user privacy without reducing the effectiveness of web advertising campaigns, as Apple believes that ads need not share what you have purchased on a Online store with no one else these companies just need to know that someone clicked on one ad on one site and bought something on another.

Based on this, Apple has released four fundamentals about how the tool works: First, no one should be identifiable based on an ad click.

Collection of cookies in web advertisements

To this end, Ma intends to inhibit any and all features used by advertisements to identify the user (even if they have not clicked on the advertisement), including the use of tracking images (pixels that carry cookies and facilitate the creation of a “ user profile ”on various sites).

Current last click attribution practice has no practical limit to bits (collected) data, which allows full tracking between sites of users using Cookies. But by keeping the entropy of data assignment low enough, we believe that reporting can be done in a way that preserves privacy.

Also, only the site where the ad was clicked will be allowed to “measure” the effectiveness of that advertising, eliminating the sending of data to third parties. In this regard, and thirdly, Safari delays the submission of ad performance information (such as when someone subscribes to a site or buys something) by up to 48 hours, in order to further hide user activity.

Finally, Apple explained that it is possible to limit the amount of data that advertisers can access at the browser level without the need to install third party software or plugins.

Apple should officially implement the feature in Safari later this year, but Apple doesn't want to do it alone; according to TechCrunch, the Cupertino giant proposed that the technology be adopted by default by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), hoping other developers will leverage technology to make the web safer.

As you recalled TC, not always new web standards take off. In 2011, the protocol Do Not Track (created by Mozilla) was initially adopted by some of the major browsers, including Safari, but after several controversies the tool that prevented users from being tracked was not, in fact, a success.

For PPACA to gain a good following, Apple is also betting on the use of the tool by users who want to surf the web more safely. By the time the feature is released, Ma will certainly also balance his disclosure with the concerns of advertisers who don't want to be negatively affected by the "news."