Apple Does Right by Users, and Advertisers Are Not Amused, by Andrés Arrieta and Alan Toner

Apple’s operating system makes it difficult for third parties to plant cookies on websites, frustrating advertisers. From Andrés Arrieta and Alan Toner at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, via wolfstreet.com:

It’s not “destroying the Internet’s economic model.”

With the new Safari 11 update, Apple takes an important step to protect your privacy, specifically how your browsing habits are tracked and shared with parties other than the sites you visit. In response, Apple is getting criticized by the advertising industryfor “destroying the Internet’s economic model.”

While the advertising industry is trying to shift the conversation to what they call the economic model of the Internet, the conversation must instead focus on the indiscriminate tracking of users and the violation of their privacy.

When you browse the web, you might think that your information only lives in the service you choose to visit. However, many sites load elements that share your data with third parties. First-party cookies are set by the domain you are visiting, allowing sites to recognize you from your previous visits but not to track you across other sites. For example, if you visit first examplemedia.com and then socialmedia.com, your visit would only be known to each site.

In contrast, third-party cookies are those set by any other domains than the one you are visiting, and were created to circumvent the original design of cookies. In this case, when you would visit examplemedia.com and loads tracker.socialmedia.com as well, socialmedia.com would be able to track you an all sites that you visit where it’s tracker is loaded.

Websites commonly use third-party tracking to allow analytics services, data brokerages, and advertising companies to set unique cookies. This data is aggregated into individual profiles and fed into a real-time auction process where companies get to bid for the right to serve an ad to a user when they visit a page.

To continue reading: Apple Does Right by Users, and Advertisers Are Not Amused

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