Monday, March 26, 2012

Apple reported rejecting iOS apps that access UDIDs

Six months after first warning developers that it would be deprecating the use of UDIDs (in the iOS 5 beta), Apple this week started rejecting apps that access UDIDs.

For those not aware, the UDID is an alphanumeric string that is unique to each Apple device. You can see your own by connecting your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to iTunes and looking at the device information. Click on the Serial Number field (the value, not the caption) and you'll see the field change to Identifier and list a long string which is the UDID.

The UDID is currently used by mobile ad networks, gaming networks, analytics providers, developers and others.

UDIDs are of far more concern to people, as they are unique to a device, and cannot be changed. What developers and others will use in the future is still unclear. The IMEI, MEID or MAC address (for the networking portion) of a device could be used instead, but that could be said to present the same sort of privacy issues as a UDID.

According to the report, deprecating features like this will often take more than a year. Apple is starting these rejections about six months after its first warning about the move, but according to the report, Apple is moving forward quickly due to increased scrutiny from Congress and privacy advocates over the use of UDIDs.

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