Safari joins browsers that tell you who’s trying to track you

It’s part of a larger push-back on the intrusive practice that follows you across the internet.

On Monday, Apple unveiled a new version of its Safari browser that’ll tell you which ad trackers are running on the website you’re visiting. It’ll also give you a 30-day report of the known trackers it’s identified while you were browsing. Additionally, it’ll tell you which websites those trackers came from. The new features are a step toward transparency, giving you an idea of just how many trackers are following you around and taking notes on your behavior.

The tech giant said that the new privacy feature in its underdog browser, Safari, will shine a spotlight on all of the ad trackers embedded on each article or website you visit.

Safari’s new anti-tracking feature sits in the top part of the browser next to the address bar, and blocks intrusive trackers as you browse the web. Users can also open the anti-tracker and view a privacy report, which details all of the trackers on the page.

The page you’re reading, for example, had more than 200 trackers on it when we checked.

Rival browsers, like Firefox and Brave, already have anti-tracking features built in.

It’s the latest feature that tries to turn the tables on the targeted ad and tracking industry. As targeted advertising became more invasive over the years, Apple has responded by bundling features to its software, like its intelligence tracking prevention technology and allowing Safari users to install content blockers that prevent ads and trackers from loading.

The new Safari features will land in the latest version of macOS Big Sur, expected out later this year.

“This year we want to give users even more visibility into how the sites they visit try to track them and the ways that Safari protects them,” said Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple. He made the comments during a virtual version of Apple’s WWDC event, its annual developer conference.

The Safari update comes as several web browsers tackle concerns around trackers. The Brave browser and Mozilla’s Firefox browser have varying levels of tracker blocking tools available. Google’s Chrome doesn’t have its own blocking service, but third-party extensions can make it happen for you.

You can use information on trackers to decide whether to keep browsing on certain pages. Mostly, it’ll give you a sense of how pervasive the technique is.

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