Apple Moves To Limit Tracking in Safari: Proves the Value of Identity-based Targeting

The Apple Developer Conference last week included the announcement of a new feature to the Safari browser that incorporates machine-learning technologies to block tracking pixels that are used by most advertising technologies—Intelligent Tracking Prevention, or ITP. This new feature is designed to “protect” Safari users from behavioral data collection by advertisers.

The way it works is that ITP will track the top sites that use cross-domain cookies and then actively try to limit the life-span of these cookies in the user’s browser. If a user has been cookied by one of these top-tier sites but hasn’t been to the site in 30 days, the browser can automatically delete the cookies. The next time the user visits the site that set the cookie, he or she will appear as a new, unknown user.

Why is this important to publishers and advertisers?

The effectiveness of precision targeting will be hindered. Apple’s decision will create further challenges and difficulties for publishers, advertisers and ad-tech companies in general. It’s not clear if this technology will be enabled by default in all Safari browsers, or whether Google, Microsoft and other browser providers will launch something similar.

ONEcount’s identity-driven platform and tracking engine bypasses this problem because every cookie or device ID or device signature, is tied back to a real-live person. Because a persistent ID is tied back to a real person, ONEcount tracks all web visitors anonymously until they are identified, and once they are identified in the system, appends that previously anonymous behavior to a user’s record. So if an identified user’s cookies were deleted, the person’s activity would continue to be tracked as an anonymous user until the next time the ONEcount system is able to reidentify them.

ONEcount rarely uses third-party cookies, but instead relies primarily on first-party cookies in the publisher’s domain, device IDs from mobile devices, and device signatures for cookie-less tracking and targeting. Users could be identified through a login, a link click or even a device signature. All appended digital engagement activities gives media companies and their advertisers true insight into the user’s overall experience.

“Identity-based advertising continues to be the best answer to problems like ad fraud, consumer privacy, and a host of other problems impacting today’s Internet,” said Sean Fulton, vice president of technology for ONEcount. “Our focus continues to be helping our customers and their advertisers hit the right customer with the right message every time.”

ONEcount is the only CDP that includes DMP capabilities in a single, highly-integrated platform. Designed for media companies, by publishing executives, it includes capabilities not found in advertiser-focused systems.

To find out how ONEcount can help you turn your audience identity into extra cash for your bottom line, contact Joanne Persico, President at or call 203.665.6211 x204.

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