Apple Peels Ads: Publishers Are Alarmed By Blocking Feature

Apple was not exactly popular with email marketers when it unilaterally imposed its Mail Privacy Protection in 2021. Some said this removed the open rate as an email metric.

The email business has survived. But Apple is set to perform another act that can be seen as hostile to business: a web eraser tool that will block advertising, Financial Times reports. 

This tool would put “the financial sustainability of journalism at risk,” a British newspaper group has warned, FT continues.  

Specifically, Apple is readying an AI-based privacy feature in the Safari browser in its next iOS 18 software update. This capability will remove ads or other unwanted website content, reports state, according to FT 

The News Media Association (NMA) sent a letter to Apple’s government affairs chief in the UK on Friday, decrying the purported plan and asking for a meeting. 



The letter said “ad-blocking is a blunt instrument, which frustrates the ability of content creators to sustainably fund their work and could lead to consumers missing important information which would otherwise have been very useful to them”.

Web browsers help publishers “monetize their content in the digital marketplace,” the NMA notes.  

The FT report says publishers are deeply alarmed. Apple has not offered a comment. 

But it has taken other measures to protect privacy. For instance, Apple introduced a feature called App Tracking Transparency, also in 2021. This lets iPhone users prevent apps and advertisers from collecting data about them without consent.  

Apple is clearly trying to position itself as the great privacy protector, FT observes.  


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