Tracking and tracking tools continue to be very hot topics.  Some people either want, or don’t mine, having their Internet footprints being tracked.  They like getting ads and messages targeted to their specific interests —all based on knowing the websites they’ve visited and the topics they’ve searched.

But many of us either don’t want to be tracked or want better control over which information gets tracked and aggregated.

Many mobile companies currently use what’s known as an Unique Device Identifier (UDID) to serve ads and gather data.  The data can include information such as the user’s location and preferences as the user moves between and among apps.

UDIDs are strings of numbers that supposedly make the user anonymous.  However, privacy advocates have argued that the string of numbers could be combined with enough other data so that users’ identities can be figured out.

All of that makes Apple’s about to be released new tracking tool for apps even more important and interesting.  Apple said it will phase out UDIDs but hasn’t released more information yet about how it plans to do so. However, Apple has said — without providing specifics — that the new technology will have the goal of protecting users’ privacy better while still allowing mobile app developers to track who uses their software (and gets the type of data needed for ads).

We’ll all want to know exactly how this will work.  I read about this in Jessica E. Vascelloro’s Wall Street Journel article (“Apple to Release New Tracking Tool for Apps”). I’ll keep alert to more information to share with you.