Apple has introduced third-party cookie blocking in its devices’ default browser, Safari.

The new update, part of a feature called Intelligent Tracking Prevention stops advertisers and website owners from tracking users across domains.

Third-party cookies are placed on a website visitor’s browser by a website domain other than the one they are visiting at the time.

Commonly used by advertising platforms to ‘follow’ users around the web, third-party cookies enable brands to ‘retarget’ past visitors with ads on other websites.

The move sees Apple beat Google by two years, as the search provider announced in January that it intends to phase out third-party cookie use by 2022.

Browser market share

According to Statcounter, as of February 2020, Google’s Chrome remains by far the most used web browser, with 64% market share. Safari currently occupies the second position with 18% market share, putting it well beyond the reach of its nearest rival, Firefox which holds a 5% market share.

The move means that two of the top three browsers, Firefox and Safari, now block third-party cookies by default.

The result will mean that cookie-based advertising is becoming an increasingly unreliable way to reach customers with ads.


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