What is Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP)?

ITP stands for intelligent Tracking Prevention. Apple first launched ITP in 2017 as a way to block the use of 3rd party cookies and limit the use of 1st party cookies. Apple are well known for their stance on privacy with a strong belief that “privacy is a fundamental human right”.

ITP put user rights at the forefront of what they do and effectively made tracking users across devices much more difficult.

Not to be deterred, many people (rightly or wrongly) started working on ways to get around this by disguising 3rd party cookies through redirects as 1st party cookies.

ITP 2.1 was released in February 2019 in response to this. ITP 2.1 now deletes most first-party cookies after seven days and blocks all third-party cookies by default.

The latest version, ITP 2.2 now deletes most first party cookies after 24 hours. This latest release is aimed at limiting any workarounds that have been put in place.

I can hear the outrage already:

“How dare they refuse me the right to be followed around the internet by that bosch fridge”

Why are we talking about it?

Digital marketing has grown exponentially in the past few years with more & more media budgets being diverted to digital for one simple reason (which im sure you have all heard before):

“Every penny spent can be measured and tracked to deliver a ROAS or ROI”.

Technically nothing has changed here and we can still measure the impact of every penny spent, however when we dig into the user level data we should start to see where these changes do have an effect.

By removing 1st party cookies after 24 hours, we will now be counting a returning user as a new user after 24 hours. This can cause a number of issues for digital marketers including remarketing, conversion windows limited to 24 hours and new vs returning customer analysis & strategy.

Who does it affect?

ITP 2.2 of course only affects Safari and iOS users however Apple are not the only ones concerned with our privacy: Firefox are following suit with their own similar products.

Google Chrome dominates the browser market share however Safari users are not insignificant with the second highest share of the market at 15.15% world wide and 30% of the market share in the UK according to stat counter.

This will of course vary across audiences and demographics and therefore you’ll need to review this on a case by case basis for each of your clients to get an idea of the impact you can expect.

We would expect to see a spike in new user activity from Safari browsers from February onwards however the impact looks insignificant so far across our client accounts.

This is because in most cases the time between sessions is more often than not less than 24 hours with an average of ~12% of sessions occurring after this.

So what should we do?

For now, this is something you should consider and check for yourselves but the reality is privacy concerns are not going away and if anything they will be getting tighter and tighter moving forwards. If Safari users make up a high proportion of your traffic then you will need to be careful when creating Audiences and measuring the impact of new & returning visitors.

In the long term investing in cookie-less tracking solutions is likely to be the best bet however this is a whole other blog post!


I’m sure there are a few work arounds already in place but here at Katté & Co. we won’t be employing such tactics. We don’t believe in trying to come up with work arounds to privacy issues.

We will continue to monitor our client accounts closely for any unusual activity and adapt to this change with tests & analysis that don’t rely on cookie data in order to measure the true impact of what we do.