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Friday, May 14, 2021

Apple will soon show you a list of all the ad trackers trying to follow your activity around the web (AAPL)

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  • The feature is part of Apple’s software updates coming to Macs, iPhones, and iPads in the fall.
  • Safari will show a list of the trackers that Safari is blocking through its Intelligent Tracking feature, which uses machine learning to remove tracking data that advertisers use to follow your activity.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories .

Apple is building a new feature into its Safari browser that will show users a list of every tracker trying to follow their activity around the web when visiting a website.

It’s part of the planned software updates for the fall that the company announced on Monday during its WWDC conference, and it comes as consumer privacy has become an increasingly thorny issue for major tech firms in recent years.

The new feature, coming to Apple’s Safari browser across iPhone, iPad, and Mac, will display all of the cross-site trackers that Apple blocks through its Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature.

When using macOS Big Sur, the new version of Apple’s Mac software launching in the fall, clicking a button in Safari’s toolbar will pull up the list, as Apple demonstrated during its keynote. Users can click on the information icon to learn more about the trackers being blocked.

Intelligent Tracking Prevention, which Apple launched in 2017, uses machine learning to remove tracking data that advertisers use to follow user web activity. The new addition is essentially an extension of that capability, as Safari will now be able to show users precisely which trackers are being blocked as they browse the web.

Apple also updated its Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature in March to fully block third-party cookies, a capability that Mozilla’s Firefox has offered since September 2019.

The updates come as concerns around privacy and the way large tech firms handle personal data has heightened in recent years. The privacy and data collection policies of firms like Google and Facebook that employ business models driven by advertising revenue has been under particular scrutiny.

Apple has repeatedly reminded the public that it does not profit from gathering data from its users. It’s even made privacy the center of some of its iPhone advertisements.

“You are not our product,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said to ABC’s Diane Sawyer last year. “Our products are iPhones and iPads. We treasure your data. We want to help you keep it private and keep it safe.”

It’s one of several new privacy-oriented features coming in Apple’s forthcoming software updates, such as requiring that developers share more information in the App Store about the data they collect.

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