Apple plans to release a new way for mobile app developers to track who uses their software, reports “The Wall Street Journal” (, quoting unnamed “people briefed on Apple’s plans. The “Journal” describes it as “the company’s latest attempt to balance developers’ appetite for targeting data with consumers’ unease over how it is used.”

The new tool aims to better protect user privacy than existing approaches, the article says. No release date is mentioned.

Last year, Apple gave developers a head-up about using UDIDs (Unique Device Identifier Numbers) via iOS documentation. Because the UDID is unique to each iPhone and iPad, it can provide a means for third-party advertisers looking for a way to track a mobile device users’ online activities. Because the UDID is not alterable or deletable by a iPhone or iPad user, some have referred to the UDID as a “supercookie.”

Such tracking has caused concerns among privacy advocates because it could give personal information about users without their knowledge. On the other hand, the change removed a way for makers of apps, advertising networks, social game networks and analytics firms to easily offer their services.