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Apple to launch app tracking tool at WWDC

App developers will be able to access your data like location and preferences, according to a report.

Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference kicks off on Monday, and along with iOS 6, it's planning on launching a tool that'll let app developers track how and where we use our apps. That's according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

This news comes just a year or so after Apple promised to stop letting app makers track users with a unique device identifier (UDID).

According to the WSJ's sources, who've been briefed on the matter, the tool will better protect our privacy than existing ways of tracking. One of the people briefed claimed the identifier will rely on a sequence of numbers that isn't tied to a particular device.

But this will still spark fears about data protection. Some privacy groups claim data like location and preferences can be cross-referenced to identify individuals.

Companies rely on info garnered from techniques like the UDID to personalise apps and help target adverts. Since Apple claimed it would phase out UDIDs, the race has been on to find another method of tracking data. If Apple has cracked it, it'll be good news for companies -- although not so much for us consumers who might be worrying about who's getting their hands on our data.

The tracking method is expected to make an appearance in iOS 6, Apple's next version of its operating system due to be unveiled at WWDC next week. Apple is also expected to drop Google Maps in favour of its own mapping system developed using a military company it bought a while ago. There'll be full Facebook integration, much like there was with Twitter in iOS 5, and Siri is expected to make its iPad debut. The App Store, iTunes, and the iBookstore are all expected to get a new look, too.

Do you want app makers having access to your data? Is it perfectly legit, or tantamount to a privacy invasion? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.