Ad industry “deeply concerned” about Safari’s new ad-tracking restrictions

Statement from the ad industry, on Safari's new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature:

The infrastructure of the modern Internet depends on consistent and generally applicable standards for cookies, so digital companies can innovate to build content, services, and advertising that are personalized for users and remember their visits. Apple's Safari move breaks those standards and replaces them with an amorphous set of shifting rules that will hurt the user experience and sabotage the economic model for the Internet. Apple's unilateral and heavy-handed approach is bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services consumers love. Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful.

Apple's interests -- that is, the privacy of Apple's users -- are diametrically opposed to the ad industry's interests. Apple's promoting user privacy being "bad for consumer choice" reminds me of the taxi cartel's disingenuous objection to ride-sharing services: "It's bad for passenger safety". 

Apple's response:

“Apple believes that people have a right to privacy — Safari was the first browser to block third party cookies by default and Intelligent Tracking Prevention is a more advanced method for protecting user privacy.
Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person’s web browsing history. This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the Internet. The new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature detects and eliminates cookies and other data used for this cross-site tracking, which means it helps keep a person’s browsing private. The feature does not block ads or interfere with legitimate tracking on the sites that people actually click on and visit. Cookies for sites that you interact with function as designed, and ads placed by web publishers will appear normally.”

Translation: Go f*** yourselves.

Of the 5 tech giants (Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Amazon), Apple (and to some extent Amazon) is the only one not financially conflicted in this fight. Facebook and Google are obviously the biggest enablers of the ad industry. Microsoft sells ads on Bing, LinkedIn, Windows 10, Xbox, and elsewhere.

Here's former Microsoft exec Steven Sinovsky on Microsoft's response when they tried to improve privacy measures in Internet Explorer: