Safari dumps failed ‘Do Not Track’ privacy setting

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Do Not Track is gone, replaced with Prevent Cross-Site Tracking.
Do Not Track is gone, replaced with Prevent Cross-Site Tracking.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Safari’s “Do Not Track” setting was supposed to protect us from advertisers following us from website to website but it never worked like it was supposed to and Apple has given up on it.

Instead, the web browser has what Apple calls Intelligent Tracking Prevention.

Do Not Track was basically DOA

The goal of Do Not Track is to inform advertisers which people did not want to be followed as they moved around the Internet. It uses the honor system, and sites like Google and Facebook pay no attention to it, according to DuckDuckGo.

The release notes for Safari 12.1, which is included in the beta versions of iOS 12.2 and macOS 10.14.4, says Apple “Removed support for the expired Do Not Track standard to prevent potential use as a fingerprinting variable.”

Bring on Intelligent Tracking Prevention

The end of Do Not Track isn’t a cause for concern because Apple replaced it with Intelligent Tracking Prevention back in Safari 11.

With this change, Safari no longer required users to ether block or not block all cookies. Instead, someone can turn on Intelligent Tracking Prevention and their browser will block just the cookies with cross-site tracking capabilities.

There are improvements to this feature in Safari 12.1 designed to make it perform even better.

To be sure it’s active, look under Settings > Safari > Privacy & Security and turn on Prevent Cross-Site Tracking. Anyone running the beta of iOS 12.2 or macOS 10.14.4 will notice that the setting for Ask Websites Not to Track Me is gone from that same section.