iOS Users Tracked By Ad Networks Despite Migration to ODIN or Open UDID, Says Report

June 7, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Hope you still remember the furor which broke out last year when it was found that certain apps on the iOS platform were practically tracking down user’s personal information like their location, pattern of movement and other details with the help of UDID string of characters that uniquely identifies a particular iOS device.

Following the outcry from privacy advocates and authorities, the iGiant has issued a warning to apps to migrate to methods other than collecting UDID info or to face axing from the App Store.

Though the announcement has made a lot of furor among app developers and mobile ad companies, many have started migrating to alternatives like collecting Open Device Identification Number (ODIN) or Open UDID info.

However, a Wall Street Journal report alleges that ODIN and Open UDID methods also can be used for tracking down personal information.

Quoting certain privacy advocates, the report argues that though ODIN and Open UDID method collects random set of numbers which cannot be connected to individuals any way, marketers can create consumer profiles based on these numbers which can be used to track consumer habits, personal preferences and even location in the long run.

The report argues that such data and consumer profiles can be even linked to real individual names later.

However, advocates of ODIN and Open UDID methods in the mobile ad sector argue that they offer many flexibilities and advantages to users and marketers, like allowing users to opt out of an app collecting hash information from their device.

Though Apple is yet to make an official response, the allegation on the mobile ad marketing method which is widely accepted as safer than the UDID method will surely create confusion among developers and user community.

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