Intelligent Tracking Prevention is the name of the tracking prevention mechanism implemented in WebKit and enabled in Safari and all major browsers running on the iOS platform. I’ve written about it on this blog, and the CookieStatus.com resource is something you should bookmark for further reading. The purpose of ITP is to prevent tracking tools’ access to data stored and processed in the browser. This involves things like blocking all third-party cookies and restricting the lifetime of first-party cookies.
Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference in late June this year included a couple of big announcements around Apple’s approach to privacy in their software. The new Privacy Report in Safari 14 (on all platforms) uses DuckDuckGo’s tracker radar list to detail which of the most prominent tracking-capable domains have been flagged by Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in the user’s browser. Apple also announced that the WKWebView class, which all iOS and iPadOS (the operating systems for iPhones and iPads, respectively) must use, will include WebKit’s ITP mechanisms on by default.
Let me start by proclaiming with clarity and sincerity: No, Safari 14 (or any other version of Safari) will not block Google Analytics from loading and running on a website. In the midst of Apple’s yearly Worldwide Developers Conference, the company showcased some of the privacy improvements to the upcoming version of the Safari web browser (version 14). In fact, the biggest revelation was the new Privacy Report, which is designed to elucidate how much the browser is working towards mitigating the damage caused by cross-site trackers.
With Intelligent Tracking Prevention, the Safari browser is on a crusade against cross-site tracking. One of the most obvious and long-standing ways to battle cross-site tracking has been to block third-party cookies in the web browser, and this is exactly what Safari does by default. However, Google Tag Manager’s Preview mode relies on a third-party cookies, so that it can serve you the draft version of the container while serving the regular, live container to your site visitors.