Online ads are facing a new challenge and it is a fight for user privacy. Popular web browsers and email services are now taking steps to protect users from being tracked online. Advertisers are finding it hard because they use tracking to know if their ads are making sales.
People have been paying more attention to keeping their online activities private over the years. Laws like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act, along with Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection, reflect a shared effort to prioritize protecting people’s personal information.
Now, the battle is about tracking links in emails and websites. This bothers advertisers, especially those in online shopping partnerships, as they want to know which partner’s ad made a sale so they can pay them.
A major player in this privacy fight is the Arc browser, sometimes called the “Chrome killer.” It has a feature called “clean” URL copying that erases tracking details when you copy a link. This might seem small, but it can cause advertisers and partners to lose important data.
Arc goes even further by telling users about links that go through tracking servers. This messes up the regular way of tracking, especially in affiliate marketing where knowing where a click comes from is important.
Email services are also jumping on the privacy bandwagon. Apple and Proton Mail are removing tracking details from links in messages and emails.