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Google Analytics 4 (GA4), GTM, and Google Ads scripts are blocked by Safari

Published: January 2nd, 2024

Personal privacy and data accessibility are hot topics for 2024. Advertisers used to be able to rely on data from many sources but now 3rd-party cookies are being retired, ad-blockers are prevalent, and Apple is rolling out constant updates to protect consumer privacy. The last thing marketers needed was for Google Analytics to be blocked by Safari.

What’s Apple blocking exactly?

Safari users now have the following measures applied when using the internet:

  • Remove all click IDs from URLs when using Advance protection or Incognito Mode
  • Block tag management, analytics, and advertising scripts in Incognito and Advanced protection modes
  • Link tracking protected in mail and messages

In line with Apple’s commitment to user privacy, they have removed specific tracking details from all URLs. This means that any links shared through Mail or Messages will be missing any tracking data.

This privacy measure extends to both Private Browsing mode and Advanced protection modes in Safari. By implementing these new protocols, any identifiers that can be traced back to the user when they click a link are removed but the parts of the link that do not contain identifiable information are left intact.

Impact on Google Tag Manager

There are other tag management systems that are unaffected by the latest Safari update, however, Google Tag Manager was directly targeted.

As a result, Google Tag Manager is blocked when someone uses Safari Incognito mode or has enabled Safari Advanced protection. Anything configured within GTM will be completely blocked which impacts analytics, advertising, and potentially key website features.

Impact on Google Analytics

Just like Google Tag Manager, all Google Analytics scripts will be blocked as soon as someone enables Advanced Tracking protection or Incognito mode within Safari. There is no difference between GTM and placing your script directly on the sight.

Impact on Google Ads

Google Ads are blocked in Safari Incognito and Advanced Tracking protection. This applies to Facebook scripts but has not yet been applied to TikTok or Bing ads.

What can we do about it?

Finding work-arounds may be something to think about in the short term, but the reality is Apple won’t stop blocking companies that are collecting customer data in order to sell it. The time is now to implement a First-party Data solution. The data that gets collected by Google, Facebook, or TikTok is never your data and is theirs to change, update, or remove entirely.

Start collecting your own data with Bread & Butter and take the first step toward a plan that is immune to the changes on the internet.