iOS 17: The Tracking Nightmare That Makes iOS 14 Look Like a Walk in the Park


Hello Afflifters!

Remember that post I wrote a few years back about Facebook ad accounts getting disabled? Yeah, the one where I pointed out that the culprit was often the tracking software we were using. It's a classic case of "guilty by association".

The New Kid on the Block: Safari's Latest Releases #17​

Now, let's fast forward to today. Safari is about to release its latest version, and it's got some features that are going to have a significant impact on how you do things. You can check out the full details here, but let me break down some of the key points for you:

Blocking for known trackers and fingerprinting:

Safari is now actively blocking known trackers. This means that if your tracking software is on their list, it's going to be blocked. It's like being on a nightclub's blacklist - once you're on it, you're not getting in. So, it's time to make sure your tracking software isn't on the naughty list.

Mitigating trackers that map subdomains to third-party IP addresses:

This is a common technique used by some tracking software. It's like changing your appearance to sneak past the bouncer. If you're using a software that does this, you might find yourself in hot water.

Blocking for known tracking query parameters in links in Private Browsing:

This one is crucial. If you're using unique click identifiers for cross-site tracking in your links, Safari is going to strip them out. It's like trying to sneak a secret message through customs, and Safari is the customs officer that's going to find it and confiscate it.

Now, this doesn't apply to aggregated parameters like campaign_id, utm_campaign, etc. These are like your standard luggage - they'll get through just fine. But anything that's used for cross-domain tracking, essentially passing cookie data into the click URL, is going to be stripped.

So if your tracking system relies on these types of parameters, it's going to be blocked.

Blocking trackers that use third-party CNAME cloaking:

This is a big one. If your tracking software uses third-party CNAME cloaking, it's going to get blocked.
To put it in simpler terms, imagine you're running a clean business (your ad campaigns), but you're banking with a bank that's notorious for dealing with mobsters (the tracking software). Even though your business is clean, the reputation of the bank taints your business by association.

Safari is like the detective that's onto the bank's shady dealings. It sees through the disguise and blocks the operation. If you're curious about how "dirty" your tracking server might be, check out VirusTotal. It's a free tool that analyzes URLs and detects if they've been flagged for any suspicious activity. It's like a background check for your tracking server.

Beware of the Confusers​

It's worth mentioning that there are some "confusers" out there among tracking software companies. These are the ones that either miss the fine print or choose to look the other way. It's like the guy selling 'genuine' Rolex watches in a back alley.

Always go to the source of truth, and make sure you get the memo on time.

The Bottom Line​

The bottom line is this: the landscape is changing, and we need to adapt. The tracking methods that worked in the past might not work in the future. It's time to take a good, hard look at the tools you're using and make sure they're not going to land you in trouble.

Remember, it's not just about following the rules.
It's about understanding the landscape and making sure we're not doing anything that could be perceived as shady, even if it's not.

Stay safe out there, Afflifters!
About author
Laurent Malka is the Co-Founder of Anytrack, a startup developing a conversion tracking software for affiliate marketers. He was born and raised in Switzerland, and now lives and works in Tel Aviv. He is a serial entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in marketing and business development. Laurent has been a panelist and speaker at numerous digital marketing events including SEMrush and IG Affiliates. He prides himself on his ability to connect the dots across disciplines, industries, and technologies to solve unique challenges.


Are we then going to be able to track them in our campaigns? Sorry, but I'm not that technical blessed just yet.
Are we then going to be able to track them in our campaigns? Sorry, but I'm not that technical blessed just yet.
Yes. And you don't need to be technical to track. The software you're using is meant to take care of this for you.

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