America’s digital advertising community is seething over Apple’s plans to add cookie-blocking technology to Safari 11, the latest edition of its browser.
Six advertising groups — the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) — are accusing Apple of destroying the way the Internet’s economics are run with its Intelligent Tracking Prevention technology.
Intelligent Tracking Prevention —a 24-hour limit on ad retargeting — restricts marketers and websites in their ability to track users.
In an open letter to the iPhone maker, the groups blasted Apple’s decision to implement a technology that will block or even purge first-party cookies, effectively overriding user cookie preferences.
“The infrastructure of the modern internet depends on consistent and generally applicable standards for cookies, so digital companies can innovate to build content, services, and advertising that are personalized for users and remember their visits,” the letter to Apple reads. “Apple’s Safari move breaks those standards and replaces them with an amorphous set of shifting rules that will hurt the user experience and sabotage the economic model for the Internet.”
The groups say the technology limits consumer choice and hurts free ad-supported sites and content.
“As organizations devoted to innovation and growth in the consumer economy, we will actively oppose any actions like this by companies that harm consumers by distorting the digital advertising ecosystem and undermining its operations,” the letter says.
“We strongly encourage Apple to rethink its plan to impose its own cookie standards and risk disrupting the valuable digital advertising ecosystem that funds much of today’s digital content and services.”
It is unlikely Apple will back down, however.
The company announced its intention to implement Intelligent Tracking Prevention back in June.