Apps with UDID access getting cold shoulder from Apple

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Developers whose apps request an Apple device’s Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs) are increasingly finding their work rejected by the Cupertino tech firm, who are tightening access allowances for dev teams following growing privacy concerns.

Apple warned that the change was coming six months ago, as users became uncomfortable with what UDID access allowed developers to see. Much like web browser cookies, UDID codes allow developers to track individual devices and use the analytics data gathered to better target adverts. However, unlike cookies UDID information cannot be removed, giving extensive historic access to a user’s usage data.

The potential privacy issues were first brought to the public’s attention by the Path iOS social networking app, which uploaded a user’s address book without asking for permission. This lead to an investigation into app privacy by the US Congress, which likely forced Apple’s hand.

However the use of UDID is vital for some developers:

“The UDID is essential for managing the conversion loop. All the performance dollars that are spent on mobile are going to impacted by this not being there,” said Jim Payne, head of the MoPub mobile advertising platform.

Developers are now looking into alternatives to UDID, including an open source solution called OpenUDID and the introduction of permission requests upon installation of apps, much like those which are present in Android apps.

Via: Tech Crunch

Gerald Lynch