Apple Now Rejecting “Cookie Tracking” Apps In The App Store

According to some industry sources, Apple’s App Review team is now rejecting apps that are using cookie tracking methods, referred to as “Safari flip-flop” or “HTML5 first party cookies”, as an alternative to UDID for tracking application usage, reports TechCrunch

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Ever since Apple made changes to UDID usage in 2011, developers have been trying various alternative methods for tracking application usage, with cookie tracking being one of those alternatives. With this method in place, Safari is opened upon first launch in order to read a cookie that may exist from a user’s past interactions with ads. With growing App Store rejections of apps using this tracking method, Craig Palli, VP of Business Development at Fiksu believes that Apple is signalling a push to its own Ad Identifier technology.

The Advertising Identifier, as explained in Apple’s iOS 6 Settings (General –> About –> Advertising –> Limit Ad Tracking), states that “in the future, all advertising networks will be required to use the Advertising Identifier.”

In other words, Apple’s intention is that this method should eventually become the standard.

“There are definitely indicators of transition with regards to HTML5 tracking,” says Palli of the recent rejections. “It’s reasonable that it’s a transition to [Apple’s] method, and their view of what a proper user experience is…Perhaps they don’t think that a flipping motion is in keeping with that user experience, ” he adds, referring to the way these apps load Safari upon first launch.

Palli says that there are still many apps that use UDID and cookie-tracking, while others use methods like digital fingerprinting and more.