Apple never misses an opportunity to show how much it cares about security and privacy of its users. In this sense, the latest novelty has been discovered in macOS Sonoma and iOS 17, the major operating system updates for Mac and iPhone respectively. Introduced during WWDC23, they are now being tested among the developers. By downloading updates, they are removed automatically in some system applications all tracking parameters from the links you click on.
Link Tracking Protection is new to macOS Sonoma and iOS 17 for privacy
Discovered by those who have already got their hands on iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma (currently in beta and therefore also unstable and with some bugs), the feature is called Link Tracking Protection and is turned on by default in system apps Mail, Messages and in Safari when browsing in private mode. The feature manages to find all the tracking parameters related to the user in the URLs e automatically removes them.
Tracking metrics in links are useful for advertisers and analytics companies that track user activity on websites. In summary, these unique parameters are extracted and associated with a user profile, so as to be able to create and show them advertisements.
Apple is therefore trying to hinder this mechanism within all its operating systems with the release of major updates unveiled on June 5 in Cupertino, during the keynote of this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Safari will be able to automatically detect which sections of the URL are actually identifiers and will remove them, making the page still searchable.
This process occurs when using the Apple browser in Private Mode and when clicking on links within the system apps Messages and Mail.
For advertisers, however, all is not lost. Apple has in fact thought of an alternative method to measure the success of campaigns. This is all done through the tool called Private Click Measurement which allows the advertiser to track campaign conversion metrics without however obtaining information on the activities of individual users.