Link Tracking Protection test

Link Tracking Protection (LTP) is a new iOS feature set to launch in September/October 2023 alongside the release of iOS 17.

LTP aims to enhance user privacy by removing marketing parameters commonly used to track individual users’ behaviors across different websites.

By default, these parameters will be eliminated from URLs.
With the introduction of iOS 17, LTP will be active in several applications, including Messages, Apple Mail, and Safari Private Browsing.

In standard browsing mode, it will be available as an opt-in feature.
Peter Jakus conducted comprehensive tests using the iOS 17 Developer Beta to gain insights into how LTP functions.

His experiments focused on three types of parameters: user-level tracking parameters (such as gclid, fbclid, wbraid, and mc_eid), UTM parameters, and the replacement of “?” with “#” in the URL.

Based on his findings, the following conclusions were drawn:

– Apple removes user-level parameters from URLs specifically for certain vendor parameters (e.g., Google gclid, Facebook fbclid), while it does not target less-known or more personalized parameters (e.g., customer-id, customer-number).
– UTM parameters, which are commonly used for tracking marketing campaigns, are not stripped from URLs.
– Apple does not remove parameters if the “#” symbol is used in the URL.

It’s important to note that, as of now, LTP is not overly aggressive. However, since the tests were conducted during the beta phase, changes are possible. LTP is expected to evolve and become more refined and selective in the future.

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