Apple’s New Link Tracking Protection Will Help Block Annoying Advertising

Safari Private Browsing Mode on iPhone Credit: Wachiwit / Shutterstock
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Apple is committed to keeping you safe online with a new privacy feature the company is adding to iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma.

This latest security feature is called Link Tracking Protection, and it will remove user-identifiable tracking parameters from URLs. This means you can shop for new sneakers without having shoe ads appear on every website in the future.

This type of tracking is insidious. It’s often added to online links by advertisers or analytic services who want to glean information about your online behavior.

Each tracker has a unique parameter that is appended to the URL in your browsing session. This unique information is then linked to an online profile, and as you go from one destination to the other, the tracking service monitors the websites you visit and products you view online. These services then use your browsing history to send you targeted advertisements or other personalized offers.

Apple’s Link Tracking Protection attempts to block these nosey services that want to keep a snoop on your online history. When iOS or macOS detects a tracking parameter in a URL, it will remove that information and only the tracking portion before opening the link. You can then visit the website without some random third-party service spying on you.

Apple hasn’t totally cut out advertisers, though. The company still supports Private Click Measurement, which provides useful analytics without revealing a user’s online activity.

The new Link Tracking Protection will be enabled by default in Mail and Messages. It also will be turned on in Safari when using Private browsing mode. The Link Tracking feature will be activated automatically on your behalf, allowing you to browse without worrying about compromising your personal information. It will debut later this year when Apple rolls out iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma.

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