It’s not a surprise but a significant change nonetheless. First announced in 2019, Apple has now updated their Safari Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) technology to block third-party cookies, thereby ending the ability for advertisers to track your web browsing habits.
The update will be rolled out over Safari’s desktop and browser apps as well as third-party iOS and iPadOS browsers (they’re required to use Safari’s WebKit browsing engine).
(Mozilla began blocking cookies by default in Firefox last fall.)
Because Safari’s share of the web browsing market isn’t significant, the digital ad industry will feel maybe some moderate pain from this dramatic change.
The real stinger, however, is due to to come in 2022 when Google has stated it will begin to block third-party cookies in Chrome (overwhelmingly number one in browser market share).
The digital ad industry is clearly freaking out over this, so it appears Google is slow-walking this to allow time for digital ad networks and marketers to make necessary adaptations to their business models.