New Versions of Safari for iOS and iPadOS to Feature Complete Third-Party Cookie Blocking to Enhance Customers’ Privacy

Third-party cookie blocking would be included in the Apple-developed web browser Safari in macOS 10.15.4 and iPadOS 13.4 as part of the latest enhancements in the technology company’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature. The implementation of third-party cookie blocking was confirmed by Apple’s WebKit team in a blog post dated March 24th, 2020.

As the information in the WebKit blog post said, cookies for cross-site resources are now blocked by default. According to the team of the platform, this is a major improvement when it comes to customer privacy issues, since the implementation of the full third-party cooking blocking is to remove any impression that even small-scale cross-site tracking is permitted.

According to the WebKit team, the implementation of the new feature could seem like a bigger change that actually is. They reminded that many restrictions have already been added to the Intelligent Tracking Prevention since it was released for the first time in 2017, and so far, most third-party cookies are already suspended in the Safari web browser. The cross-site integration has been supported by some of the previous measures taken by the platform. The Storage Access API was shipped a couple of years ago so that the means for authenticated embeds to get access to cookies with mandatory user control were already provided.

According to the information unveiled in the release, the upgrade is currently going through the standards process in the W3C Privacy Community Group.

Implementation of Cookie Blocking Feature Could Cause Problems for the Affiliate Sector

Safari is the first mainstream web browser that has decided to fully block third-party cookies by default. The step that has been taken by the tech giant is expected to pave the way for other web browsers to adopt similar policies.

The implementation of the cooking blocking for cross-site resources to the new versions of Safari is unveiling a major privacy improvement, according to the team of WebKit, as it would further reduce the tracking functionality.

As part of the upgrade, statefulness would be removed through the cooking blocking feature, so that no ITP state could be detected. Apart from that, potential attackers would be prevented from seeing the customer’s ITP status.

The third-party cookie blocking, however, could turn out to be a major issue for the affiliate sector. The thing is that, to date, the platforms that are used by the affiliate programs are not ready for such a major change, as the latter basically means that customers would no longer be tracked. Despite the fact that cookies are not the only way to track and match website visitors, most online gambling platforms still actively use that method to monitor the activity on their websites. The implementation of the third-party cookie blocking leaves them with very little to do and, for the time being, it still remains unknown whether they are planning to take counter-measures to deal with the problems that may occur.