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UPDATE 1-Apple's Webkit to launch new privacy feature for ad tracking

Sheila Dang and Sayanti Chakraborty

(Adds detail from blog post)

May 22 (Reuters) - Apple Inc said https://webkit.org/blog/8943/privacy-preserving-ad-click-attribution-for-the-web on Wednesday its browser engine Webkit will launch a new technology to track advertising clicks and whether they lead to a product purchase while preserving the privacy of users.

Users will not be uniquely identified across websites they visit in order to track ad clicks, and the technology will only let those websites be involved in measuring the clicks, not any "opaque" third parties, according to a blog post on Webkit's website.

Apple's step shows how increased public scrutiny is forcing greater transparency in Silicon Valley, particularly as its tech rivals Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google have struggled with data privacy scandals.

At a launch event in March, Apple made privacy the core focus as it introduced Apple News+, a news app that it said would not report what users were reading to advertisers, as well as a credit card with Goldman Sachs that it said would not sell user data to marketers.

The new web technology from Webkit avoids placing any trust in any of the parties, whether it be the network or the merchant, and limits communication between them to prevent sharing of data that could track an individual user.

Earlier this month, Google said it will roll out a dashboard-like function in its Chrome browser to offer users more control in fending off tracking cookies, according to the Wall Street Journal.

(Reporting by Sayanti Chakraborty in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Andrea Ricci)