Echoing concerns from US industry groups, IAB Australia has described Apple’s move to block cookies in its Safari web browser as “opaque” making it more challenging for advertisers and publishers to manage their digital ad campaigns.

Apple’s latest OS update released this week includes a feature called Intelligent Tracking Prevention which deletes cookies after a 24-hour period in the Safari, effectively putting a one-day limit on ad retargeting.

Apple argues tracking technology has become too pervasive and is damaging consumer trust.

“It is naturally a concern for the entire ad ecosystem (publishers, agencies and brands) and we are in the process of talking to local stakeholders and aligning their feedback on the issue,” Vijay Solanki, CEO of IAB Australia told Which-50.

“What is most problematic is the seemingly opaque criteria for the restrictions; this makes it hard for advertisers and publishers to consistently manage. However as technology continues to mature, we expect more tech providers to look at ways to improve the customer experience –  by offering more consumer control. The industry will need to develop a more symbiotic consumer and advertiser experience.”

In the US six major advertising and marketing trade organisations urged Apple to reconsider the move, accusing the Cupertino giant of “sabotaging the economic model of the internet.”

In an open letter to Apple last week, the groups including IAB, 4A’s and Association of National Advertisers criticised “Apple’s own set of opaque and arbitrary standards for cookie handling.

“The infrastructure of the modern Internet depends on consistent and generally applicable standards for cookies, so digital companies can innovate to build content, services, and advertising that are personalised for users and remember their visits,” the letter published by AdWeek reads.

“Apple’s Safari move breaks those standards and replaces them with an amorphous set of shifting rules that will hurt the user experience and sabotage the economic model for the Internet.”

The advertising groups argue the move will drive a wedge between brands and consumers” and make “advertising more generic and less timely and useful.”

Locally, the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) is worried about the changes diluting the relevance of online ads.

“Like our US counterpart, the ANA, we are concerned about any move that may reduce consumers’ ability to receive advertising that is of relevance and interest to them. We will, therefore, monitor developments closely,”  John Broome CEO, AANA told Which-50.

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