The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will offer a new tool allowing developers to track who is using their apps. What could possibly go wrong?
According to the WSJ, Apple hopes the new tool will help satisfy the complaints of developers who want anonomised data to help them improve apps and better tailor services and ads to users. The report is based on unnamed sources and doesn't provide details about exactly what data the new tool will track. Details about the tool will supposedly be available at some point in the next few weeks.
If the tracking tool does arrive, don't be shocked if there is backlash against Apple over privacy. Last winter Apple barred developers from using the unique identifiers in iPhones and iPads to track users across different apps. And as the WSJ points out, the policy hasn't been rigorously enforced. Meanwhile developers and advertising networks have worked out sneaky ways to get around the rules.
In the best case scenario, Apple would allow very narrow tracking while still delivering useful information to developers. But no matter what the tools does, it's going to creep people out. [WSJ]