Routine Consumer Data Tracking habits has been one of the primary tasks of companies such as Facebook. Several forms of trackers such as cookies have been leveraged by companies for keeping track of the surf history, which in turn aids them in analyzing the individual’s choices as they jump through websites. Concerns arise among consumers with regard to their fake digital profiles being created.
Video, and news websites, along with numerous third-party platforms continue to use Facebook and Google for customizing ads in accordance with interests and hobbies of consumers, instead of hawking products that might never peek consumer attention. With these concerns spiraling up as a privacy arms race, two web browsers, namely, Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari, aim to prevent use of cookie data files for storing sign-in credentials and other consumer preferences by companies.
Apple’s effort is particularly significant, with its aim at techniques of tracking companies for overriding attempts of users in deleting their cookies. Apple’s Safari is set to automate these protections in its updates, which would come into effect from 18th September 2018, to be made available for iPad and iPhone users, and a week later for Mac Computers as well. Meanwhile, Firefox – having similar protection features on Apple mobile devices, is aiming to soon roll them out to the personal computers of consumers.
Test surveys conducted by Apple depict over 70 trackers embedded to popular websites, with majority of these trackers being developed by Google and Facebook. Despite general awareness regarding data collection grows in the wake of Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal of Facebook, underlying uncertainties prevail with respect to intelligence on operations of these trackers. Browsers such as Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox are now putting efforts for integrating products such as Ghostery, which have long provided protection against tracking, depriving consumers from seeking for browser add-ons.
Unsurprisingly, advertisers are becoming more and more uneasy with these efforts of browsers to prevent consumer data tracking. However, Dennis Buccheim – executive of Interactive Advertising Bureau – stated that browser makers must consider the criticality of advertising to enable free services, albeit they feel pressurized in delivering privacy-centric features. Although new tools of Firefox and Safari don’t block advertisements, prevention of cookies is expected to result in significant reduction in payments for websites. While Google significantly relies on selling ads for most of its revenue generation, Mozilla and Apple are capable of pushing boundaries on privacy as neither of them depend on advertising.