iOS 5: Apple Phasing Out Developer Access To UDID

News | Tuesday August 16 2011 12:40 PM | Comments (0) Tags: , , , ,

and instead requesting developers a unique identifier specific for their app.
release notes that was seeded to developers yesterday.
Deprecated in iOS 5.0
An alphanumeric string unique to each device based on various hardware details. (read-only) (Deprecated in iOS 5.0. Instead, create a unique identifier specific to your app.)
This is a big deal, especially for any mobile ad networks, game networks or any app which relies on the UDID to identify users. Many apps and mobile ad networks, for instance, uses the UDID or a hashed version to keep track of who their users are and what actions they have taken. App publishers are now supposed to create their own unique identifiers to keep track of users going forward, which means they may have to throw all of their historical user data out the window and start from scratch.
There have been some privacy concerns raised with the way Apple and app developers use UDID. In fact, Apple and some developers have also been sued for it, which probably could be the reason for prompting this change in iOS 5.
Obviously, deprecated doesn’t mean developers won’t be able to access UDIDs immediately, but it does mean that they need to figure out an alternative approach.
It appears to be good anti-privacy change by Apple from an iOS device users point of view, but it could pose a problem for developers who use UDID as their unique identifier, even though Apple has strongly advised against using it. It also seems to be a concern for apps who are using UDID for their anti-fraud checks, unless Apple providers developers with an alternative way to uniquely identify users.
What do you think about Apple ‘s move? Please share your views in the comments below.

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