Apple Clears Up Where It Stands with Safari and Anti-Tracking Features

Apple Tracking Prevention Featured

Apple has released its “Tracking Prevention Policy,” but this may be too little, too late for many Apple users. Consumers are already not trusting any technology company after the admissions of all the major players, that they were saving user recordings for their own use, albeit artificial intelligence training.

Nonetheless, it’s left consumers in a state of mistrust. So for Apple to come along and announce their policy to prevent websites from tracking users on Safari, it may not be met with much fanfare.

Apple’s “Tracking Prevention Policy”

Apple outlines WebKit’s tracking efforts as well as what type of tracking it will prevent, its countermeasures, etc., in the full “Tracking Prevention Policy” that has just been released.

“This document describes the web-tracking practices that WebKit believes, as a matter of policy, should be prevented by default by web browsers,” the WebKit team explains in the document.

“These practices are harmful to users because they infringe on a user’s privacy without giving users the ability to identify, understand, consent to, or control them.”

Apple definitely won’t find many people to disagree with that. And this is something that the company was tending to even before the recent backlash that they were sharing Siri users’ recordings with third parties for the purposes of improving the service. Tracking prevention features were built into last year’s iOS 12 and macOS Mojave with Intelligent Tracking Prevention.

News Apple Safari Anti Tracking Devices

With the new policy, they are helping users avoid being tracked by other sites. “WebKit will do its best to prevent all covert tracking and all cross-site tracking (even when it’s not covert).,” explains the new policy.

“These goals apply to all types of tracking listed above, as well as tracking techniques currently unknown to us,” the policy continues.

“If a particular tracking technique cannot be completely prevented without undue user harm, WebKit will limit the capability of using the technique.”

Apple is insisting they are treating this as seriously as they do security vulnerabilities. “If a party attempts to circumvent our tracking prevention methods, we may add additional restrictions without prior notice. These restrictions may apply universally, to algorithmically classified targets or to specific parties engaging in circumvention.”

Too Little, Too Late

While it’s fantastic news that Apple is taking website tracking so seriously, it just may come as empty words to a community that is just tired of having their information and data used and/or stolen.

No matter where you turn online, someone is attempting to get your information and data, and Apple has already admitted they were giving it away. It just doesn’t seem like users who are concerned about their privacy will be celebrating the company’s new policy.

What do you think of Apple’s anti-tracking policy? Is it too little, too late? Add your thoughts to the comments section below.

Image credit: 24 MEU Deployment 2012

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

One comment

  1. “Apple Clears Up Where It Stands with Safari and Anti-Tracking Features”
    Is Apple “clearing up” its stand or is it attempting damage control?

    With its refusal to crack the iPhone for the government, Apple acquired a lot of good will. However, with each new revelation about Apple’s methods and procedures, that good will has been eroded more and more. One or two more revelations and Apple will be considered no better on privacy than Facebook or Google. Bottom line is that Apple is a for-profit enterprise. They are pro user security only as long as that security/privacy does not decrease revenue and profits.

Comments are closed.