updated 05:11 pm EDT, Fri June 8, 2012
New tool seeks to balance developer needs with privacy standards
Sources familiar with Apple's plans tell The Wall Street Journal that the company is preparing to release a new tracking tool for mobile app developers. The new tool, these sources claim, is aimed at striking a balance between developers' desire to gather targeting data on consumers and Apple's stated policy of protecting user privacy.
Many mobile companies make use of Unique Device Identifiers, or UDIDs, in tracking app use and developing metrics on user behaviors. Apple, though, said last summer that it would begin phasing out the use of UDIDs by iOS developers, though the company has yet to describe a proposed alternative.
In place of the UDID system will be the new, unnamed developer tool. Reports are unclear on the exact functioning of the new tracking system. Some claim it will allow developers access to a new sequence of numbers not tied to any specific device.
App privacy has been an area of concern for Apple for some time. The company was recently asked to respond to a congressional letter regarding concerns that arose following the revelation that the app Path collected users' entire contact lists.