Apple recently added to its privacy feature with the release of an update to its Safari Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP). This particular privacy feature enables an enterprise’s web browser to block cookies and averts advertisers from prying on the user’s web habits.
Apple announced that starting from March 24, 2020; the release of Safari 13.1 will block every third-party cookie by default.
However, Apple mentions that the move is not a very big deal as the company has already been practicing blocking most third-party cookies in the past that were being used for tracking user visits to websites across the internet.
John Wilander, an Apple software engineer, states that the WebKit behind the safari update blocks all third-party cookies. This briefly means that by default no advertiser, analytics firm,or website can follow the user on the internet by making use of the commonplace tracking technology.
John Wilander mentioned, “It might seem like a bigger change than it is,” he added, “But we’ve added so many restrictions to ITP since its initial release in 2017 that we are now at a place where most third-party cookies are already blocked in Safari.”
This definitely is a noteworthy achievement for web privacy as the update positions Apple’s browser two years ahead of Chrome based on Google’s statement in January about embarking on phasing out third-party cookies but not completely until 2022.
John Wilander states, “Cookies for cross-site resources are now blocked by default across the board. This is a significant improvement for privacy since it removes any sense of exceptions or ‘a little bit of cross-site tracking is allowed.’”
WebKit basically is Apple’s in-house browser engine responsible to power various features under the hood.
With this release Safari now becomes the second browser after Tor Browser to restrict third-party cookies by default for every user.