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Apple is stepping up its efforts to reject any iOS application that accesses a device’s UDID, a 40-character code that uniquely identifies each device the company sells.
The UDID codes are important because they allow mobile app developers to test and track their applications. Mobile advertising networks also use the UDID codes for ad targeting purposes, which in turn means developers get a better payout. But now Apple is telling its review teams to reject any application that accesses the UDID due to increased pressure from privacy advocates, according to a TechCrunch report.
There is some worry in the developer community that the new rejections are coming too early for apps to adapt to another tracking standard. Apple first instructed third-party developers to stop using the UDID as a means of tracking back in August with the release of its iOS 5 beta — so, the news isn’t exactly surprising. However, this is the first time Apple has started outright rejecting applications that still use UDID.
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Apple could avoid many privacy headaches by killing off UDID access entirely, as VentureBeat’s Devindra Hardawar previously pointed out. The company was sued in 2010 by a Los Angeles man because UDIDs were so easily accessible by apps. Also, many apps share UDIDs, along with other personal information, without users’ knowledge.
If you’re an iOS developer and will be affected by Apple’s decision to start rejecting apps that still use UDID, let us know your thoughts in the comment section.
Update 11:51 a.m. PST: Kevin Dent first noticed Apple’s new rejections March 21. (Also, thanks to Gordon Bellamy for the superior headline revision!)
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