Apple To Release New And Improved Device Tracking Tool For Developers [Report]

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iOS 8 is Apple's most privacy-conscious mobile OS yet.
Apple is working on a better tracking solution for its developers.

Following the privacy fiasco surrounding iOS user tracking and Apple’s deprecation of the UDID, a report today says that the company is planning to release a new tool for developers that aids in tracking app users. According to The Wall Street Journal, the software tool’s “new anonymous identifier is likely to rely on a sequence of numbers that isn’t tied to a specific device.”

Want To Know Which iOS Apps Are Accessing Your Personal Data? Clueful Tells You Everything

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Clueful helped identify
Clueful promises to identify "misdemeanant apps on your iPhone."

There has recently been a lot of concern into the way in which our iOS apps access our personal data, and then what they do with it once it has been collected. Since the whole Path debacle in particular, users seem to be more concerned by the issue than ever before.

BitDefender is one security firm looking to capitalize upon that concern with a new app called Clueful, which promises reveal what each of your apps is doing with your data and identify the “misdemeanant apps on your iPhone.”

What Is A UDID And Why Is Apple Killing Apps That Track Them? [Feature]

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This unique string of alphanumeric text attached to every iPhone and iPad is the source of a lot of privacy concerns.
This unique string of alphanumeric text attached to every iPhone and iPad is the source of a lot of privacy concerns.

Many of us feel a deep personal connection with our iPhones, and small wonder: the average person’s smartphone knows more about them than their spouse or significant other. Our iPhones hold our contacts, photos, videos, music, banking data, texts, emails, voicemails, web logins, apps and more. We use our phones to pay our bills, send texts to our girlfriends, check-in to our favorite club, play games with friends, and much more besides.

That makes our iOS devices a juicy target for tracking, and what most people aren’t aware of is that, historically, Apple has made it very easy to anyone to tell what you do with your iPhone. It’s called a Unique Device Identifier or UDID. Every iOS device has one, and using it, third-parties have been able to put together vast databases tracking almost everything you do with your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

The good news for privacy advocates is that the days of UDID are numbered. Following the recent stink the U.S. Congress raised over how iOS apps handle a user’s personal information without permission, Apple has given an ultimatum to third-party App Store developers: either stop tracking UDIDs or get kicked out of the App Store. Now ad networks and developers are scrambling to agree on a way to track your device in the future.

But are these replacements any good, or do they pose even bigger privacy concerns than UDIDs did?

Groupon Adopts UDID Alternative That Could Become Standard For Developers

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AppRedeem is hoping iOS devs will follow Groupon's lead and adopt its UDID alternative.
AppRedeem is hoping iOS devs will follow Groupon's lead and adopt its UDID alternative.

Just six months after announcing that developers must stop accessing a device’s unique device identifier (UDID) within their iOS apps, Apple put its rule into practice last week amid increasing privacy concerns surrounding mobile apps. Any app submitted for App Store approval will soon be rejected if its attempts to access a UDID, and developers need an alternative.

That alternative could come from AppRedeem, a mobile advertising platform for app discovery, branding and monetization, which has developed a system called Organizational Specific Device Identifier, or “ODID,” already being used by Groupon.

Apple Rejecting Apps That Access iOS Device Unique Identifiers Amid Privacy Concerns

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iOS 5 icons

Apple warned the iOS development community last August that it would start rejecting applications submitted to the App Store for accessing a user’s unique identifier (UDID). In case you didn’t know, every iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad possesses a unique alphanumeric string used for registration and tracking.

Amid privacy concerns from the U.S. Congress and other groups regarding how apps use an iOS device’s personal info, Apple has decided to start enforcing its new policy in the App Store.