Apple Starts Process To Yank Developer Access To UDID in iOS 5 [Privacy]

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There are a lot of changes being made by Apple to iOS 5. Each new beta reveals a little more about the changes everyone can expect after iOS 5 is released to the public in a few months. There is one big change that Apple hasn’t said a lot about publicly and developers might be surprised by it.

Apple has notified developers via a recent update to iOS 5 documentation that they will be removing access to the unique device identifier (UDID) on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Although this probably doesn’t sound like much to most of you reading this it is very important. The UDID identifies users for a variety of reasons that include, but are not limited to: mobile ad tracking, gaming (scores, etc.), and just for identifying a device and later its user. This will be a big issue for developers who’re going to be forced to come up with their own way of uniquely identifying users. If you are privacy fanatic this is good for you, but developers will effectively lose all their historical data and they will just have to start collecting it all over again.

According to TechCrunch here is the language from the Apple Developer documentation:

Deprecated in iOS 5.0

uniqueIdentifier
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.)

We agree with TechCrunch that this looks like Apple’s response to privacy concerns or just a way to prevent them. That isn’t a bad thing. We know that many people aren’t all that excited about their UDIDs being used to target them for advertising. However, although Apple is removing UDID access from developers there isn’t any evidence that Apple won’t still be using it for Game Center, iAds, or other reasons.

So what do you say developers is this a big deal or isn’t it?

[via TechCrunch]

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55 responses to “Apple Starts Process To Yank Developer Access To UDID in iOS 5 [Privacy]”

  1. AndreGSNE says:

    Apple is just killing themselves by doing this.

  2. prof_peabody says:

    Because people like having their privacy violated?  Your not making sense.  The developers and advertisers that want to track people online are not Apple’s customers, their victims are.  

  3. sonnyfazio says:

    Developers can create their own UUID. Use the Serial number, Mac Address, or any other unique id. 

  4. Jose Rodriguez says:

    If people wanted privacy, they wouldn’t be using the internet or any of it’s services..

  5. baby_Twitty says:

    I would say its  a big deal for developers who are evil and want to track their targeted customers/victims.

    But overall for most honest developers, its not, as there is a work-around for them to track app data without UDID.

    and so i’m all for Apple’s initiative to try to restrict UDID access to developers.

    so that they can only track the app usage and not so much the user.

  6. AndreGSNE says:

    hmmn…i wonder if apple stopped jailbreaking altogether,would their sales go down?they seem to be more and more protective.

  7. ereins158 says:

    It’s UDID, not UUID. And developers should have never been able to access UDID’s from the start. They’ll release updates to their apps, and people won’t know the difference, so they shouldn’t make a huge deal about it now.

  8. David says:

    When you buy a car do you immediately want to change it, modify it just because you can?  Duh?  Many folks just want a solid device that works, who cares about special options that the jailbreaker seem to insist upon.  Security, system integrity, not having to fix, fix, fix, wonder why doesn’t this work now, etc.  Some of us just don’t want the hassle.

  9. DavidWMartin says:

    Thanks Josh – fixed that. Long day and way toooo many acronyms in my life. 

  10. applehaters says:

    This is not a smart move for Apple.  That seems to be a trend for them lately. Lying in court, suing everything that moves, etc.

    http://bit.ly/dI3hcF

  11. aquraishi says:

    Good point David. You’ll always have modders but they make up a minority of the customer base. I also think Apple closing down jailbreak vectors has less to do with preventing jailbreaking than with fixing security vulnerabilities. That said, I think manufacturers should leave jailbreaking communities alone as they’re a good potential innovation sandbox and can be learned from. Sony’s position on suing modders is just stupid and has alienated a particularly passionate branch of their user community.

  12. prof_peabody says:

    Isn’t it kind of ironic that you’re basically calling Apple out for immoral behaviour but at the same time you’re spamming the comments list with an ad for your site? 

  13. Jose Rodriguez says:

    You missed the entire point of his post. NO, everyone does not have an urge to modify their car, but he was talking about the ABILITY to. What if you couldn’t change your own tires or oil? What if you couldn’t clean the inside of your car? What if everytime you wanted to do something you were forbidden?

    THAT is what he is talking about. I have a firm belief that while the general population would not be affected by a jailbreak shutout, it would drive a noticeable portion away.

  14. Bozo says:

    iPhone Pro and iPad Pro to be launched soon? hell yea!

    read it, and understand why.

    http://wp.me/p1Mrnd-1i

    the Bozo.

  15. CharliK says:

    There is no way to totally stop jail breaking. Even if they gave in and let every app on the devices, even if they were unlocked from day one, someone would find a reason to want to jailbreak and do it

    And when Apple closes a hole, they will find another

  16. AshleyJacksons5456 says:

    I just paíd $20.87 for an íPad 2.64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasoníc Lumíx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UP S.I will never pay such expensive retail príces in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LCD T V to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, bit.ly/BidShop

  17. AndreGSNE says:

    Do you know why i bought a iTouch?it’s because of the community.millions of people have an ios device.Frankly,i find the games boring after a while.Jailbreaking gives me the convienence and entertainment that i want.example,itunes,to put a song,i have to plug it into the com and before that it has to sync?what trouble.my itouch just needs to download a song from safari,then i can just import it into my ipod library.To me,if i couldn’t jailbreak,i wouldn’t have paid for it.

  18. AshelyWine502024 says:

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from,http://bit.ly/PeNNyBid

  19. Rann Xeroxx says:

    So by your logic it people wanted privacy they would never leave their homes, homes that have tinfoil pasted on the windows, would not send their kids to public schools, own a car, get a SSN, etc.  

    Obviously everyone else doesn’t care about privacy. 

  20. AlexaAdam5230 says:

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://bit.ly/CentBid

  21. sarahadam17169698 says:

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://bit.ly/CentBid

  22. Smith Jessica says:

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://bit.ly/CentBid

  23. sarah808 says:

    what are the work arounds?

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