According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has plans to release a new tracking tool for developers, following its ban of Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs) since last summer. This looks like the company’s first major attempt to satisfy developers need for legitimate use data, while balancing that with user privacy.
At the moment, it’s not known how Apple will track usage, but it apparently won’t be tied to specific devices. Perhaps it will, instead, be anonymously linked to Apple IDs. No matter what, being able to track users is a massive business for app developers and ad networks, and the ball is now in Apple’s court as it continues to insist controlling every aspect of its app ecosystem.
Lars Albright formerly of Apple’s iAds and currently of SessionM told WSJ that “everyone is waiting for Apple to do something. There are a lot of different viewpoints in the industry. We don’t need more confusion. We need less.” Hopefully the company will be able to strike a balance and keep everyone happy, but the odds are that Apple will restrict much more data than what was previously available through UDIDs — angering advertisers in the process.
As we wrote back in March, Apple’s rejection of apps referencing the UDID of iOS devices is a major problem due to the blatant lack of alternatives available. With Apple’s WWDC coming up next week, we’ll be keeping our collective ears out for emerging news regarding Apple’s UDID replacement.