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Cookies aren’t the delight they used to be. Apple’s ITP 2.0 is launching soon.

Whether you understand them or not, you’ve likely seen articles popping up about the upcoming ITP 2.0 release.  The world of online marketing is changing. What does this mean to you as a merchant? At its most basic, these changes restrict tracking of the consumer path through your affiliate and other marketing channels.  Attribution, consumer tracking and associated credit will all be harder to track. More restrictions equal less data.

With the recent issues of consumer privacy coming to light in Facebook scandals, the need for the ITP for consumer protection has become more prevalent.  Apple’s team and others developing similar solutions are said to be targeting technologies that rely on third party tracking and profiling, such as Facebook.  These changes however, are influencing the entire digital advertising industry.

In September 2017 Apple released ITP 1.0 with a Safari 11 update.  The ITP or Intelligent Tracking Protection began the process of restricting cookie tracking based on user interaction and frequency.  There was a swift and negative reaction to the 1.0 launch in the digital community with advertisers voicing their concerns as highlighted in The Verge.   With the 1.0 release there were restrictions for cookie tracking, however there were built in concessions.  These concessions allowed users to opt-out of the ITP and for tracking to continue within a 24-hour window.  The Commission Junction team has done a thorough job in explaining this in their recent “What You Need To Know” article.

One concern with the initial launch was that other browsers would follow suit and restrict cookie tracking.  While no announcements have been made, the industry is prepping for the inevitable. As we near September 2018, the introduction of the ITP 2.0 is looming and brings with it additional restrictions within Safari.  The launch will remove the 24 hour tracking window which was one concession allowed in V 1.0 and ultimately reduce URL’s to a root domain for tracking.  CNET broke some of these changes down in layman’s terms after speaking directly with Apple.  Major changes are on the horizon.

What do you do?  Thankfully, most major networks and technology platforms in the affiliate space began to develop alternative tracking methods when the ITP was initially announced.  We suggest you connect with your existing affiliate network. They will help you update your platform and integrate their solution be it click ID capture or an alternate solution. If you have questions we can assist with, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Melissa Corless, Business Development Director