Details of multiple security flaws in Apple’s Safari web browser that could track Safari users has been disclosed by Google researchers, despite the fact that the affected tool was specifically designed to protect their privacy. Rather ironically, the flaws were found in Apple’s anti-tracking feature known as “Intelligent Tracking Prevention,” Google first notified Apple of the issues last August.
Apple rolled out Intelligent Tracking Prevention in 2017, with the specific aim of protecting Safari browser users from being tracked around the web by advertisers’ and other third-parties’ cookies.
The tool is seen by privacy advocates as a pioneering privacy-enhancing technology for web browsers, and has forced competitors including Google’s Chrome browser to augment their own tracking controls.
The researchers also identified a flaw that allowed hackers to “create a persistent fingerprint that will follow the user around the web”, while others were able to reveal what individual users were searching for on search engine pages.
Apple addressed the security flaws, without revealing any details, in December, when privacy engineer John Wilander published a blog post about security updates to its browser software.
MacDailyNews Take: “Could” track Safari users, but not anymore! Read more via WebKit.org: “Preventing Tracking Prevention Tracking” by John Wilander, December 10, 2019