Anti-tracking spirals: what is it this time?

Battle between tracking solutions and anti-tracking algorithms keeps raging. This spring, corporations presented new updates for Safari, Firefox and Chrome browsers. In this article, Admitad is trying to sum up how these changes will affect affiliate tracking.

Tracking Prevention?

Late April Apple announced its update of Intelligent Tracking Prevention technology. In spite of its self-explanatory name, ITP 2.2 does not block tracking completely. However, it does make bypassing Safari anti-tracking feature harder and limits site owners’ capacity to track user’s journey 24/7.

As a matter of fact, Apple already introduced this feature earlier in its ITP 2.1 which suggested deleting first-party cookies after 7 days. ITP 2.2 cuts down this time to 24 hours. This way, if a customer clicks an ad on Monday, by Wednesday it will be impossible to define via cookies which publisher delivered the order. The initiative is aimed to further curtail freedom of corporations such as Google and Facebook to measure traffic and target ads at the user.


Cookie control attribute

Early May, Google announced two updates. The first of them is going to affect cookie management policy in Chromium browsers, splitting cookies into first-party (used within one site) and third-party ones (that can be used by multiple websites)

To achieve that, Google and Firefox intent to introduce a new attribute in HTTP-heading ‘SameSite’. The attribute will have three possible values: strict / lax / none.


Strict ‘SameSite’ value means cookies can only be used within one website — the one that was given an explicit permission to process user data. ‘Lax’ value gives more freedom as it allows keeping authorization cookies. However, such cookies are blocked if there is suspicion that cross-site request forgery may take place.

If the website owner does not install the attribute, its value will be regarded as ‘none’, so cookies will be available for use by other platforms. Full description of SameSite attribute is available on

The feature is expected to be released in the coming months.


Fingerprint tracking prohibited

The second update will affect fingerprint tracking technology.

Fingerprint or ‘digital fingerprint’ is a set of general data about user device and browser — plugins, display resolution, manufacturer and device model. Complex of these parameters is so unique that digital fingerprint can be used to track movements of a specific user online — even in the incognito mode.

Google believes that such methods are hardly ethical and that fingerprint tracking has to be stopped. Fighting fingerprint is one of the key objectives that Google is going to pursue in the future Chromium development. Precise date of the release is not disclosed.


Admitad opinion

We respect user privacy and obey the letter of GDPR in terms of tracking. Moreover, we understand the importance of steps taken by corporations to deliver safe user-friendly experience to all users.

Along with that, we fulfill business needs of our clients and focus on peak performance of our tracking tools. To do so, we joined the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Russia and share expertise with industry peers to legally develop and implement cutting-edge solutions in the market.

“Apple’s ITP 2.2 is already in the core of our tracking code, so we are ready for these changes”, — Admitad Head of Tracking Eugeny Shevanov comments.

“We already use first party cookies to track user activity. We also agree that Google requirements on cookie marking are fair, so we will slightly modify cookie generation process to comply. We expect to have more data on the release — Google has not yet provided the details. Until then, Admitad tracking will stay unaltered” — he added.  

If Admitad clients and partners are still worried about possible changes in the industry, the affiliate network can provide alternate tracking solutions:

  1. Advertisers can set up their integration via server: postback-requests, XML or API.
  2. We also developed ‘Cookieless tracking’ solution for partners who deem cookie-tracking unacceptable
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