Apple to release new tracking tool for apps - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Apple to release new tracking tool for apps

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Apple Inc. is planning to release a new way for mobile app developers to track who uses their software, according to people briefed on Apple's plans, the company's latest attempt to balance developers' appetite for targeting data with consumers' unease over how it is used.

The new tool, which could be detailed in the coming weeks, aims to better protect user privacy than existing approaches, these people said.

It comes after Apple last summer rattled the mobile industry by saying it would stop allowing app makers to use a unique identifier embedded in iPhones and iPads to track users across different apps. So far, the company hasn't aggressively enforced that policy.

Many mobile companies rely on what is called the Unique Device Identifier, or UDID, to serve ads and gather data, like location and preferences, as people move between apps. But some privacy advocates argued that the string of numbers, which are anonymous, could be coupled with enough data to identify individuals.

How Apple's new technology works and what it will allow developers to track remains unclear. One of the people briefed said that the new anonymous identifier is likely to rely on a sequence of numbers that isn't tied to a specific device.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

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