A new anti-tracking feature in Apple's Safari mobile browser will damage advertising companies' money-making potential, one such firm has said.
Criteo, a large advertising technology enterprise, has forecast a 2018 revenue cut of 20 per cent or more because of Apple's introduction of the Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) function in Safari. The browser holds about a 15 share of the mobile market.
The feature has already attracted criticism from the advertising industry. In September, six trade groups, including the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the American Association of Advertising Agencies said in an open letter that they were ‘deeply concerned' above the move.
The trade bodies also accused Apple of ignoring internet standards in favour of its own ‘opaque and arbitrary' ones. Apple's response can best be boiled down to a polite raspberry noise.
Several companies have made attempts to beat ITP, although Dennis Buchheim, general manager of the UK's Internet Advertising Bureau's Tech Lab, recommends "more sustainable, responsible approaches in the short-term," he told The Guardian.
Criteo was one of the firms that thought that it had found a way around Apple's new restrictions, initially forecasting a revenue drop of between nine and 13 per cent. However, Apple closed the loophole with an update in December, causing the firm to revise its expected revenue fall to 22 per cent, ‘relative to our pre-ITP base case projections'.
ITP is not the only cloud on the horizon for advertising firms. Coming in February is the addition of a built-in ad blocker in Google's Chrome, which holds more than 50 per cent of the mobile browser market. However, unlike ITP it has been developed with the advertising industry, to only block ‘intrusive ads'. These include things like popups that block content and autoplaying videos.
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