Link Tracking Protection: What the iOS 17 Update Means for You and Your Business

Apple is touting their newest iOS 17 technology as a means of “enhancing the things you do every day” through user-friendly updates to existing apps and features. The online preview for iOS 17 teases highly visual enhancements along with intuitive user-experience changes that promise to increase connectivity and ease the overall act of elective information sharing, but what does that all mean for user information that is being shared behind the scenes?

In a press release featured on Apple’s Newsroom, a major privacy and security update comes by way of a powerful new iOS 17 feature: Link Tracking Protection. This feature will automatically remove tracking parameters from links you click on through Apple’s native apps, like Mail, Messages, and Safari Private Browsing mode with no impact to the functionality of those links.


How does it work?

Link Tracking Protection will detect user-identifiable tracking parameters (extra bits of information attached at the end of a URL, like UTMs) and automatically remove them, making it harder for websites to track users’ online behavior and ultimately their consumer journeys from site to site. With that, it becomes more difficult to identify the multiple networks and channels that often contribute to a single conversion. 


From user to marketer – who will be impacted by iOS 17?

The update itself has its limitations – for now. For users, browsing through any non-Apple entities (Chrome, Firefox) or in standard Safari mode will mean that tracking parameters remain intact, giving users a bit more control over whether they want to opt into this heightened level of security, although it will automatically be enabled for Apple’s ecosystem. Essentially, Apple isn’t able to eliminate the ability to track the path to conversion entirely, a good sign for marketers with an attribution solution that goes beyond the tools built-in to Google and Facebook, platforms that will be directly impacted by iOS 17.


What does this mean for measuring performance and attribution?

We know that holistic campaign tracking is more important now than ever before as consumers are engaging with multiple touchpoints and their associated marketing tactics before making one final purchase decision. This sounds scary if you’re looking at iOS 17s Link Tracking Protection through a narrow lens of performance monitoring as opposed to one specifically built to support multi-touch attribution. So, depending on your model, you can still gather a complete picture of your conversion rate, ROI, and revenue. 


Atrilyx and iOS 17

We expect privacy and security to continue to evolve through iOS 17 prior to the official launch in September, but in the meantime, measuring performance through our proprietary attribution platform, Atrilyx, will remain largely unchanged. With our own pixel and direct API connections to networks we’re able to track all of the touchpoints in the consumer journey and use the insights to help you optimize your campaigns based on top converting marketing paths. 


Have more questions? Get a demo to learn more about Atrilyx and how to gain back control of your campaigns.

Related Articles