Apple To Revoke iPhone / iPad UDID Access From Developers In iOS 5

A recent report published by TechCrunch reveals an interesting policy change from Apple in the upcoming iOS 5. According to the report, Apple is going to permanently remove developers’ ability to access UDIDs of iPhones, iPads and iPods e.g the way developers authorize certain devices to beta test their applications will totally change. It is speculated that this change could also affect mobile advertisers which often track iOS device UDIDs for user identification and account information retrieval. Why Apple wants to make this move? I believe it has to do something with growing privacy concerns over Apple’s data tracking policies.

In the past, Apple and some other app developing companies have faced lawsuits over giving out UDIDs to advertisers, thus using users’ personal data, a practice which clearly violates user privacy. Below is the actual language from the developer documentation regarding this policy change:

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.)

As to what new changes Apple will bring to the system in order to facilitate the developers, is currently unclear. However, this does warn all marketers and advertisers that customer identification and target advertising by means of UDID tracking is definitely going to end pretty soon!