Apple has just released the most recent update for its Safari browser, and the most important of this version 13.1 on macOS, and 13.4 on iPadOS and iOS has to do with ITP, that is, the intelligent tracking protection that they began to implement in 2017.
With this update, Safari has started to block all third-party cookies by default with the aim of improving user privacy when browsing. This is something that Firefox already does, but that Chrome, the world’s most used browser, is only just beginning to consider.
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What is this for, and what are those cookies
Not all cookies are the same, and whenever we browse we store cookies in the browser. These are used for many things, such as, for example, to save our preferences, login data, the products in the shopping cart, or for the web to measure its audience. These cookies are from the same domain that we are visiting and are called “Same-Site“for that very reason.
However, other cookies are not from the same domain, but from third parties, and are used for many things, such as to track us, show personalized advertising, and follow us everywhere to know our habits. These are called “Cross-Site“and they are also called third-party cookies that Firefox, and now Safari, block by default.
John wilander, the WebKit engineer behind the Safari ITP, explained that the move is a significant privacy enhancement as eliminates any sense of exceptions or that “a little bit of cross-site crawling” is allowed.
He also took the opportunity to mention that Chrome plans to do this as well, but not until 2022. For now, Google began to add changes with Chrome 80 to mark a before and after, but instead of directly blocking all third-party cookies, they are opting for a temporary half-way solution for according to them “preserve privacy but keep the web healthy that survives on ads“.
Neither Apple’s business nor Firefox’s is advertising, but Google’s is. Hence, their total blocking of third-party cookies is only planned for at least two years, while they get “the best solution” for everything.