September 14, 2018

Safari ITP 2.0: Your Conversion Tracking Remains Safe With Sizmek



Shayan Jamshed

Product Marketing Manager

Last fall, Apple’s intelligent tracking prevention, or ITP, raised concerns in the industry, and we provided a guide to understanding Safari ITP. With the advent of ITP 2.0, Sizmek’s conversion tracking remains strong, and here’s how.  


Sizmek tested ITP 2.0

To ensure that your conversion tracking would remain safe, Sizmek tested the setup using iOS 12, which includes ITP 2.0. The results were exactly the same as in ITP 1.0, and also for conversion tracking prior to ITP. Sizmek can count post-click conversions, but not post-impression conversions. We tested and confirmed that there will be no change in Sizmek’s ability to count conversions using Versatag/Tag Manager, thus no action is required by you to keep your campaign tracking running smoothly.  

Sizmek third-party cookies and ITP 2.0

Third-party cookies have always been blocked in iOS so Safari prevents the tracking of third-party cookie conversions by default. Sizmek cookies are created as third-party cookies, and are not usable for cross-site tracking in Safari. Simply put, ITP or ITP 2.0 has no effect on Sizmek third-party cookies since those cookies were never originally set as first-party cookie. Because Sizmek takes privacy seriously, we did not try to build workarounds for Apple’s decisions, but instead worked within the confines of the restrictions. For click-originated conversions, Sizmek’s  approach in Safari is not based on cookies. Once a user clicks on the ad, we pass a user ID that is picked up by Sizmek Tag Manager, which associates clicks with conversions. This approach has been Sizmek’s recommended best practice even prior to Safari’s ITP introduction. Hence, cookies are not part of conversion click tracking.

Google and ITP 2.0—What’s the fuss?

ITP 1.0 impacted vendors that were trying to go around Apple’s restrictions. Because many first-party ad servers used workarounds, including Google, these vendors’ ability to track Safari conversions were substantially impacted. ITP 2.0 introduces even stricter controls, as the 24-hour user interaction cookie access window will be removed. This update would likely adversely affect Google’s search business, whereas Sizmek has never claimed to have tracked cookie conversions in Safari.

While many companies will be affected by ITP 2.0, Sizmek continues to deliver conversion tracking in Safari as it always did. In doing so, Sizmek continues to fulfill its commitment to protecting consumer privacy. Sizmek recommends using Tag Manager/Versatag, not only to address this gap but also because of the inherent benefits of not having to manage multiple pixels. Sizmek Tag Manager provides you a single tag as well as complete visibility and control over what tags are firing. In addition, you don’t need to worry about pixel data leakage due to individual pixels that may be scattered across sites.

Reach out to a Sizmek pro to learn more about conversion tracking, data management, and the many ways you can get great campaign results in the evolving digital advertising world.