While searching for brands to partner with, you've likely noticed that some brands are tagged with a green banner marked ITP. This means impact.com has validated the brand as being ITP-compliant. But what does this mean? The main purpose of this article is to provide you with the context behind that green banner you see when searching for new brands with which to partner.
In this article, you'll learn about ITP, which is Apple's precautionary measures for online privacy and preventing users from being tracked in internet browsers, as well as Google's browser privacy measures. You'll also learn how brands can meet ITP compliance requirements and what this means for you, the partner.
ITP, short for Intelligent Tracking Prevention, is the software Apple employs on the Safari browser to prevent websites from tracking users as they browse the internet. This tracking prevention method means that many traditional ways of tracking users, like gateway tracking (redirects between a partner site and landing page), are no longer viable as they will be blocked by Apple's privacy software. It is important to note that Safari blocking cross-site tracking techniques is nothing new, and impact.com has been keeping pace with the needed changes to our tracking technology.
The newest iteration of ITP, version 2.3, doubled down on preventing cookie tracking on the Safari browser. Popular loopholes allowing browser cookie tracking are closing. This means your partnered brands will likely need to switch over to server-to-server (API) tracking to ensure you are getting attributed for the actions you drive.
We believe that as Google rolls out changes to SameSite (Google's version of ITP), many of its policies will be similar to ITPs. As we learn more about Google's internet privacy plans, we'll make the needed updates to help keep your attributions from being blocked.
If a brand only uses API tracking, it will be ITP-compliant. However, there are more complex ways that a brand can meet ITP compliance.
The specifics of any brand's integrations with impact.com will not be disclosed. Please do not request this information, as we will not share it. Brands tagged with the ITP flag seen on brand marketplace cards mean their integration will not prevent you from being attributed because ITP software prevented the cookie from tracking the needed information and sending it to impact.com.
For now, you need to know that brands using traditional gateway tracking are not marked with the green ITP flag and may be experiencing up to 9% of tracking drop-off. This drop-off means you might not get paid for up to 9% of the actions you're driving for that non-compliant brand.
Also, regardless of whether a partnered brand is ITP-compliant or not, you should always be using secure tracking links—these links start with https. You can use an https link to go to either https or http hosted sites, but if an end user clicks on an http link, Safari and Google Chrome will prevent the browser cookie from driving the needed information.
impact.com defaults to providing you with links set to https, but you may want to take a moment to review your tracking links and check that the "s" is present.
With online data privacy becoming more prevalent, major browser providers are all racing to have the first browser with the next set of restrictions (Microsoft and Mozilla are working on their set of restrictions as we speak). For now, the browser-based tracking (via UTT) that brands can employ continues to work, but we can't know if the next version of ITP or SameSite will demand new updates.
Keep a look out for the green ITP Compliance flag when searching for brands to partner with and ensure your tracking links are all served securely (with https).