Way back in August 2011, Apple notified developers that it would eventually stop allowing apps to access Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs), the identification numbers unique to each iDevice. Now, Apple has started rejecting apps that access UDIDs and some developers are scrambling for a solution.
Apple is fulfilling its promise after it was left red-faced months ago when a study revealed that App store apps access more personal data of users than Cydia apps.
According to online reports, under pressure from lawmakers and the media, Apple is moving ahead of schedule in its deprecation of UDIDs. Under normal conditions it can take more than a year to deprecate features as developers need ample time to find solutions and rework their apps.
TechCrunch reported few weeks ago that Apple told some of the larger mobile-social devs to move away from UDIDs. However, Playhaven, a company that helps developers (more than 1,200) monetize their apps, claimed that several of its customers have had apps rejected in the last week.
TechCrunch’s sources claimed that 2 of the 10 app review teams started rejecting apps based on their access of UDIDs this week. Next week, that number jumped to 4 of 10 and so on till all 10 teams started rejecting apps that access UDIDs.
The biggest impact of this move by Apple will be on mobile ad networks that track users from app to app and use the information to better understand how users respond to ads. However, the widespread privacy concerns associated with unfettered access to UDIDs are turning pale in comparison to developer inconveniences in Apple’s opinion.