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Apple has released an update to its Safari browser that blocks third-party cookies, following an announcement by Google that it would do the same for its Chrome browser. Through the release of Safari 13.1 on Tuesday, alongside some changes to Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in iOS and iPadOS 13.4, the company now blocks all third-party cookies by default in its browser, according to a blog post by the engineer behind Apple’s WebKit, John Wilander. He called Safari the “first mainstream browser to do this,” acknowledging that the less widely used Tor browser already has full third-party cookie blocking, and that the Brave browser is nearly there as well. Indeed, Apple appears to have beaten Google to the punch of blocking third-party cookies, which will prevent advertisers and online marketers from virtually following people around the web with ad-targeting cookies. Google unveiled last May in a blog post that it would provide the same functionality in Chrome, and then in January updated the timeline for the move to 2022. In the beginning of February, Google released Chrome v80, with support for third-party cookie blocking in a feature called SameSite cookies, which will complete full rollout in about two years. Wilander said the change for Safari seems brand-new, but it’s actually not so drastic — the browser already was blocking most third-party cookies through restrictions in ITP. “To keep supporting cross-site integration, we shipped the Storage Access API…

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