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This paper presents Markov chain Monte Carlo data association (MCMCDA) for solving data association problems arising in multitarget tracking in a cluttered environment. When the number of targets is fixed, the single-scan version of MCMCDA approximates joint probabilistic data association (JPDA). Although the exact computation of association probabilities in JPDA is NP-hard, we prove that the single-scan MCMCDA algorithm provides a fully polynomial randomized approximation scheme for JPDA. For general multitarget tracking problems, in which unknown numbers of targets appear and disappear at random times, we present a multi-scan MCMCDA algorithm that approximates the optimal Bayesian filter. We also present extensive simulation studies supporting theoretical results in this paper. Our simulation results also show that MCMCDA outperforms multiple hypothesis tracking (MHT) by a significant margin in terms of accuracy and efficiency under extreme conditions, such as a large number of targets in a dense environment, low detection probabilities, and high false alarm rates.