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How Apple's Newly Updated Safari Browser is Exposing the Fragmented, Unstable and Unsafe Nature of many leading websites

Ad BlockersAffino GDPRappleApple SafariBrowser SecurityGDPRPrivacyUser SafetyUser Security+-

Meet Safari, the latest ad blocker

If you're using plugins on your website, you're likely already in trouble

Where's the audience gone? Apple Safari now blocks Google Analytics!

Despite years of advance warning, and an already prevailing paradigm shift towards heightened user safety and explicit consent - several web properties have done little to prepare themselves for the new era of locked-down browser security. In fact I’ve almost noted a prevalence of certain websites doubling down on their misguided stance - and putting in place all manner of ad-blocker alerts pop-ups and barriers.


Apple Safari is now a 3rd Party Ad Blocking Analysis Blocking Privacy Browser by Default


Truth is that there are no ad-blockers in action here - simply Apple’s latest version of Safari Browser - which now disables all 3rd party / offsite trackers by default. Part of the Internet’s longer-term problem has been the rather risky route of using multiple ’plugins’ and external apps to render all manner of onsite functionality - obviously including ad-serving, but also comments, video and audio players, media libraries and light-boxes, site search, analytics and of course tracking. All those are enabled by 3rd party cookies and JavaScript which take user’s privacy details offsite and process and sell those on in all manner of ways.


It has to be noted that the more plugins you use on your website the greater the attack-surface and the higher the risk vector. What that means is that all these data breaches you keep hearing about mostly occur in the intersects or hand-offs of details from the core system to one of the numerous satellite / 3rd party cookie-enabled add-ons. The very reason Affino is engineered in the way it is - is to provide all services seamlessly and holistically through the same singular system in order to very much both improve user and deployment experience for owners and customers alike, and to give both more security and a better peace of mind.

The Still Pervasive Use of 3rd Party Cookies

Some of the worst offenders out there utilise as many as 20, 30 even 40 different trackers on just the one page. For example the Home Page - per the top visual. Even more amusing is how supposedly seamless services from the same organisation turn out to be not that seamless at all - as is the case with the website - where its parent organisations and appear on that site's list of blocked trackers.


In fact, just browsing the Daily Mail site on Safari is likely to result in you being shown a screen notifying you that you're using an Ad Blocker and to switch it off. Something that will simply not be done by most people as they're unlikely to want to switch to Chrome or even Firefox on their iPhones and iPads.


For years we've been hearing defensive arguments in support of 'supervised' 3rd party cookies - where even now the Internet Advertising Bureau is trying to push its own system of 3rd party cookies to replace those which are now increasingly being blocked. Yet the IAB has already being called out in court for abetting highly questionable and non GDPR compliant practices via Ad Platforms' RTB systems, which has led to the largest data breach of all time in Ireland.


It's time to go Native and Ditch the Dysfunctional 3rd Party Plugin Ecosystem


By contrast Affino has always advocated on-site native advertising and analytics. It means full delivery of the service, seamless and faster customer experiences, 100% data capture, and no blocking.


Website owners are often unwittingly handing over backdoor keys to 3rd party organisations - which then results in the data harvesting and selling all their audience details and trackers to the highest bidder. There is very little scrutiny going on - and with the increased automation of advertising systems - also known as programmatic advertising - there is less scrutiny and oversight, and more fraud, than ever before.


The 3rd party cookie system has just become entirely unreliable and too frequently and too easily abused. Websites and brands which persist in using such technologies are increasingly putting their audience at risk on some browsers, and simply not delivering the full experience to others.


The Daily Mail site now flags Safari as an Ad Blocker and Blocks much of the Apple Audience


When I apply an ad-blocker it's not out of a sense of wanting to deny the web property further revenue, but rather a complete lack of trust in that web property's partners. We at Affino are enormously heartened that Apple and Mozilla are doing the right thing - with Microsoft Edge likely falling into alignment any time now too. We are hopeful that Google recognises that privacy is an imperative now for most users and goes down the same path.


Google and Facebook are being Squeezed by Apple


Both Facebook and Google are being sued by the EU for serial breaches of privacy law - while those fines don't seem to be large enough to encourage those businesses to change tack - as both continue to exploit and misuse customer privacy data, Apple's approach is likely to have a much bigger commercial impact on both organisations. Depriving them of swathes of personal data that is their lifeblood.

The Safer Future of the Internet

In building up the Affino SaaS Platform for well over a decade now - we've natively developed all the essential functions and utilities into the core single solution. This greatly reduces the attack surface, and results in a robust and honest customer-centric service which works in the best interest of both consumers and web property owners alike in a fully GDPR compliant manner.


Those same functions and abilities are available natively in Affino - entirely seamless within the web browsing experience. In fact Affino's services are better tracked internally, and with more personalisation ability - which inevitably results in a better and more satisfactory consumer experience.


There has been something of a false economy with the 3rd party plugin model in the past - and too many of its supporters have ignored and glossed over its shortcomings. We will for sure need to devise some fairer and securer means of inter-operability in the future, but by and large we must learn to simply use better and safer native tools, functions and services.


At the end of the day good business has always been about the best customer experience - which is dependent on optimal customer service and fidelity - which can no longer be entrusted to 3rd party page plugins, cookies and JavaScripts. There is in any case a better way of integrating with 3rd party platforms in any case using direct APIs, which control much better the data sent across, keeping your audience safer and their privacy intact.



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