With the latest iOS 17, Apple’s web browser Safari can automatically remove tracking parameters from URLs when using Private Browsing Mode in order to prevent cross-website tracking. When a tracking parameter is detected while browsing or copying a link, Safari removes the identifying parts of the URL while keeping the rest intact.
The links will still function properly, but won’t contain unique identifiers, said MacRumors. This new feature is called Advanced Tracking and Fingerprinting Protection. It works not only in Safari but also in the Messages and Mail apps. You can even enable it for regular browsing in Safari.
- On your iPhone, go to Settings, tap on Safari, then select Advanced and choose Advanced Tracking and Fingerprinting Protection.
- You can set it to “All Browsing."
- If you prefer not to use this feature, you can also turn it off in the same menu.
Please note that iOS 17 will be released later this year, and are currently available in beta for users with an Apple developer account. So, regular iPhone users have to wait for the official rollout of the latest iOS later this year to use this feature.
According to MacRumors, Apple showcased an example of a URL before and after the tracking parameters are removed during a WWDC 2023 developer video session. The initial URL contains a specific “click_id" parameter, which advertisers can utilize to track a user’s actions on various websites.
However, to safeguard user privacy, Safari automatically eliminates this parameter from the URL.
Apple has also added a Screen Distance feature on iOS 17. This feature can alert you when you hold an iPhone too close to your eyes for an extended period.
The opt-in feature is designed to help lower the risk of nearsightedness in children by encouraging healthy viewing habits and can help reduce eye strain overall. Screen Distance can be turned on in the Settings app under Screen Time > Screen Distance, and is available on all iPhone models with Face ID.