Apple starts rejecting apps that access device UDIDs

According to several developers Apple has kept their promise and is now starting to decline app submissions that access the UDID of an iDevice. According to sources this will only become more stringent in the near future. Currently Apple has two review teams actively rejecting UDID-accessing apps with all ten teams expected to follow suit in the coming weeks.

For those unfamiliar with the term UDID it stands for unique device identifier and is basically a serial number that a mobile network uses to identify mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad. What makes this number special is that the 40-character alphanumeric string can not be replicated on any other device, making it an ideal form of tracking the device.

The move seems to be in response to mounting concern over privacy issues from Congress and the public. In April 2011 the media got wind of the fact that Apple was gathering information through iOS 4, which regularly logged location data from iPhones and iPads.

It really can’t come as a surprise to developers, in August 2011 Apple began sending e-mails to developers warning that they would be killing off UDID access with iOS 5. The Cupertino company suggested that developers come up with another way of collecting user data. Removing the feature effectively ends OS-wide user tracking and forces developers to create their own proprietary opt-in identification systems.

For those interested in finding the UDID of your device, we have a guide on how to find the number through iTunes.


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