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VaultPro and Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) readiness

In case you run offers/marketing campaigns where most of the users fall in any of the highlighted browsers in the below table, then you should know and care about ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention)

Intelligent Tracking Prevention Overview

WebKit is the web browser engine used by Safari, Mail, App Store, and many other apps on macOS, iOS, and Linux. The success of the web as a platform relies on user trust. Many users feel that trust is broken when they are being tracked and privacy-sensitive data about their web activity is acquired for purposes that they never agreed to. WebKit has long included features to reduce tracking. From the very beginning, webkit has defaulted to blocking third-party cookies. Intelligent Tracking Prevention is a WebKit feature that reduces cross-site tracking by further limiting cookies and other website data. The 2 recent updates to this protocol are:

ITP2.0 –> https://webkit.org/blog/8311/intelligent-tracking-prevention-2-0/

ITP2.1 –> https://webkit.org/blog/8613/intelligent-tracking-prevention-2-1/

For a quick primer on ITP2.0, please visit this link.

As of the writing of this post, below is the status or tracking protection across the popular web browsers:

BrowserMarket Share (Desktop)Tracking Protection
Chrome68%None
Firefox11%On by deffault in Private Browsing
Internet Explorer7%Off by default
Safari6%On by default
Edge4%None
Opera2%Off by default

Chrome and Edge are the only two major browsers without a built-in tracker blocker. Source: “Desktop Browser Market Share Worldwide – StatCounter Global Stats.”

Ref: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/11/google-chromes-users-take-back-seat-its-bottom-line

VaultPro and ITP

VaultPro offers three different tracking methods:

  1. Server to Server Tracking
  2. Cookie Based Tracking via Image & IFrame Pixels
  3. Cookie to server-side Tracking via VaultPro SDK/JavaScript

Methods 1 and 3 above are the recommended methods for compliance with ITP or Intelligent Tracking Prevention standard released by Webkit.org in June 2018.

The cookie to server-side tracking is a completely “future-proof” tracking method — as we periodically upgrade its functionality, there is never any need for additional integration work on the client’s end, after the ONE-TIME JS tag Integration is done. Any additional data points can also be transferred using VaultPro supported macros using our own proprietary API’s.

Using above we set first-party cookie data using the advertiser domain. This, therefore, removes the need for the third-party cookie which is blocked by the ITP 2.0 standard.

As per the ITP 2.0 standard, in order to persist cookie data, 3 things are required:

1. The cookie must be from a first-party domain

2. That first-party domain must have user interaction. (This definition isn’t totally clear, but it seems to suggest that the user must actually browse the site and click on something)

3. That first-party domain must receive repeat user interaction. Cookies will persist for only 30 days. After 30 days, data will be black-holed until the next user session.

In VaultPro, Conversion and Event tracking on a website can be done one of two ways to prevent ITP 2.0 block:

Server-to-Server via Postbacks

This is achieved with Transaction_ID (In VaultPro, this is prepared with session id unique for the campaign) between tracking url and conversion url. The advertiser needs to store it locally on their end and send back when the conversion is complete.

This needs the website to have integrated the VaultPro SDK. Refer the integration document here.

When the JS SDK browser-pixel when used in conjunction with the Dynamic Click Tag, it sets a first-party cookie on the user’s browser.

Note:  This option only works with the JS SDK Conversion/Event Pixel and the Dynamic Click Tag, as the JS SDK reads the first-party cookie that is set by the Dynamic Click Tag and sends the Request Session ID in the pixel request to the server for cookie-less tracking.

If you’re using the Standard Iframe, JavaScript or Image Pixel, you will need to update it to the JS SDK type (post VaultPro SDK integration on your website). For the event tracking, the VaultPro SDK provides a tracking method to track the same if required. On every page load, a call back is fired with session id (like transaction id).

In conclusion, with VaultPro SDK, the tracking and conversion process becomes fully ITP2.0 compliant since the solution is fully based on first-party cookie only.

Updated on April 10, 2019

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