Data & Analytics Consultant
Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) aims to prevent cross-site user tracking, stopping cookies from following searchers around the web. It’s been around since 2017, but it’s a cat and mouse game – when new ways are dreamt up to circumvent the technology, ITP evolves to prevent them.
Since the beginning, ad tech companies have attempted to bypass ITP restrictions in various ways to track browsing behaviour. The latest version of ITP (2.3) prevents some of the most recent cookie workarounds.
Here’s a quick overview of the workarounds and how ITP 2.3 tackles them…
To bypass ITP’s cookie restrictions, alternate first-party browser storage methods, like localStorage, have been used instead. This allows cross-site tracking by storing unique identifiers in the user’s browser storage.
As it does with cookies, ITP now caps the lifetime of all script-writable website data – like localStorage – after a navigation with link decoration (a link containing URL parameters that are used to identify users) from a classified domain.
ITP has downgraded ‘document.referrer’ to the referrer’s effective top-level domain (eTLD+1) after a navigation from a classified domain. This will prevent unique identifiers being communicated in this way.
It’ll be interesting to see what the ad tech companies come up with next. But we can certainly expect more cat and mouse maneuvers: ITP workarounds, fixes to ITP workarounds, more ITP workarounds…
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