What is changing with the release of ITP 2.1 and 2.2?  

The new release of ITP 2.1 has been implemented with the March 2019 version of iOS 12.2 and Safari 12.1+ on macOS.  This update further limits the storage of first- and third-party cookies and as a result, may influence your website analytics and digital marketing activities (including retargeting, frequency management and audience pools) pertaining to Safari users.

The new release of ITP 2.2 has been implemented with the beta version of iOS 12.3 and Safari 12.1+ on macOS.  This update limits cross-site tracking cookies that came from appended query string or fragments to the final URL (e.g. website.com/html?clickID=123) to only one day of storage.

Who or what is affected?

Cross-domain, third-party or partitioned cookies, which are now blocked altogether, losing the 24-hour window previously set with ITP 2.0.  

First-party cookies, implemented with JavaScript created through document.cookie, will now reset after seven days.  This means that website visitors [using Safari] who return after seven days will be counted as unique. Marketers who previously switched to a first-party cookie solution (e.g. Google gtag, Facebook Pixel, Bing Ads Auto-tagging, etc.) following the release of ITP 2.0 may also be affected.

In addition, first-party cookies, implemented with JavaScript created through document.cookie and were set after a query appended URL visit from another domain will now reset after 24 hours.  This is likely to affect unique measurement, frequency cap, or remarketing to audiences measured through the appended URL.

This does not influence:

  • Session cookies, which already reset after 24 hours of a website visit
  • Cookies that use same-origin storage (e.g. localStorage), cookies set with HTTP, or CNAME
  • Regular website tracking through the use of query strings or fragments
  • Regular ad click attribution through the use of a query string or fragment

Determine impact & next steps

  • Investigate your visitor traffic to determine the percentage of visitors that use Safari 12.1+ browsers overall.  The impact will vary depending on your audience. The current browser share of all versions of Safari is <16% globally.
  • Determine the percentage of users who visit your site within seven days.  You will not lose the ability to measure users who visit your site on a regular basis, as cookie sessions will refresh with each visit.
  • Consider using a lookback window of seven days or shorter for attribution.  Longer lookback windows may be affected, as users on Safari will be dropped from retargeting audiences.
  • If your site requires user login for authentication, a persistent ID could be used in place of a cookie.  This also means, for example, if you are targeting users via Google’s audience data (signed-in users), that deterministic data is still viable and accurate.
  • If you currently use a JavaScript cookie and are concerned about the impact of ITP 2.1, you can speak to your IT team about implementing a localStorage, HTTP, or CNAME cookie solution immediately.