What is intelligent tracking prevention?

More and more browsers are drawing attention to themselves by using so-called 'Intelligent tracking preventions' (ITPs) by default. Apple, which released the first version of its ITP in 2017, is considered the pioneer and benchmark in this field.

The ITPs are designed to prevent users from being recognized by 3rd party tools over a very long period of time and from being addressed for advertising purposes.

The recognition as well as the blocking of cookies is no longer limited to 3rd party cookies but also to 1st party cookies, which are set by 3rd party providers on the respective website.

The following simplified scenario should explain the functionality that allows the setting of Third- as First-Party Cookies:

  1. The user visits mywebsite.com and the tracking solutions set first-party cookies on the respective domain (mywebsite.com).
  2. The user clicks on an ad and is redirected to the corresponding ad server domain (adServer.com) (redirect tracking).
  3. The ad server platform now generates a first-party cookie on the advertising domain (example.com) and assigns it to a specific user.
  4. Afterwards, the cookie is automatically redirected to the website of the advertiser (mydomain.com).
  5. The ad server could thus set a first-party cookie on example.com and can now track the user over the Internet and thus deliver personalized advertising.

To limit the possibilities of user recognition and targeting by advertisers, ITPs delete first-party and third-party cookies before their actual expiration date. Apple, for example, deletes cookies from identified advertisers after one week.

Effects of ITPs

ITPs are a challenge for attribution, because by deleting the cookies they can significantly shorten potentially ongoing customer journeys, which can affect the sequence analysis performed for multi-touch attribution.

In general, web analytics solutions are likely to detect more users than new users, even though they have visited the website in the last 10 days.

How do I know if ITPs affect my traffic?

Not every company is equally affected by ITPs. The following usecases help to analyze whether ITPs could have a strong effect on tracking:

  • How high is the number of Safari page views?
  • How long does the average customer journey take? (From the first touchpoint to a conversion).
  • How many days does user retention last? (On average, how many days elapse between two visits to the site)?

What does Adtriba do to mitigate the impact of ITPs?

In general, we do not expect Adtriba to be heavily affected by ITPs. A 3rd party provider is increasingly recognized and blocked by ITPs the more frequently it sets 3rd and 1st party cookies on different domains.

This is a small percentage for Adtriba compared to large, globally operating platforms like Facebook or Google. Furthermore, Adtriba limits the use of 3rd party cookies exclusively to the collection of display impressions.

We are therefore more than confident that Adtriba Customer Journey Tracking is not subject to the strong influence of ITPs.

Nevertheless, Adtriba invests primarily in the modeling of aggregated data in the context of Unified Marketing Measurements and Social View Modeling, in order to make the attribution less and less dependent on user and cookie-based data.

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