Apple is reportedly denying apps that use “cookie tracking” methods from entering the iOS App Store. This move suggests that the company may be making a more aggressive move to have developers use its first-party Advertising Identifier technology. According to TechCrunch, Apple’s App Review team is actively rejecting software from developers that leverage the so-called “cookie tracking” technology, otherwise known as “Safari flip-flop” or “HTML5 first party cookies.” For those of you who don’t know, this method was instituted as an alternative to unique device identifier (UDID) tracking, which ad servers once used to target specific audiences in generating pricing models.
In 2011, privacy concerns prompted Apple to deprecate developers' access to UDIDs, leaving advertisers without a direct way to target ads to specific users. This led some ad networks to claim that apps not using the specific device-specific data would see a 24% decline in revenue. The Cupertino California company began blanket rejections of apps using UDID tracking in march 2012, as developers turned to secondary tracking methods, such as using the MAC address and OpenUDID assets. One of the alternatives was browser cooking tracking in mobile Safari.
Apple ended up issuing its own tool for advertisers, called the Advertising Identifier, even though developers tend to stick with the older workarounds as they were attached to a single device and more difficult to disable. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Advertising Identifier, you can learn more about it from Apple’s “About” page which described the following:
iOS 6 introduces the Advertising Identifier, a non-permanent, non-personal device identifier, that advertising networks will use to give you more control over advertisers' ability to use tracking methods.
Source: TechCrunch via AppleInsider