Google says that an Apple tool that is meant to avoid web tracking is flawed and creates more problems than it actually solves.
Apple’s Safari web browser includes a feature called ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention,’ which is supposed to block tracking software that advertisers use. But, Google researchers say that the feature can be abused to do the exact opposite of its purpose.
Google notified Apple of this in August, after which the company said it had fixed the problem. However, the recent research paper from Google shows that the problems go beyond what Apple had acknowledged.
The feature continuously learns what websites users visit and what type of cookies try to latch on. This then creates cookie-blocking algorithms for each user that can be used to track and identify them.
No, I can assure you that they still haven’t fixed these issues, which is what made that blog post last year so weird. Apple didn’t disclose the vulnerabilities or appropriately credit the researchers, but put out a post implying they fixed “something”.
— Justin Schuh 🤬 (@justinschuh) January 22, 2020
Apple has not yet acknowledged the claims from Google.
However, this is not the first time that the two tech giants have clashed regarding privacy issues, as Google researchers previously reported a bug in Apple’s software.