Apple has reportedly started rejecting apps that request the use of the Unique Device Identifier, or UDID, as part of their stronger policy on user privacy. The report comes from TechCrunch who gave said that developers have been in contact with them to note that they have received rejections from apps that they submitted through the App Store approval process due to the fact that their apps requested access to the UDID.
The UDID is the unique alphanumeric number that identifies every iOS device that Apple produces and can be used to identify that device. It is hard wired into each iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and cannot be manually changed. Access to it by apps can, however, be restricted, as demonstrated by Apple’s new policy which reflects the focus on user privacy. Now, six months after giving notice to developers, Apple is therefore rejecting any apps that attempt to identify a unique iOS device by accessing the UDID.
The collection of consumer data by apps found on iOS devices has hit the press in recent months with the revelation that some apps could access, and transmit, the entire content of users’ address books without permission. Under the new rules, this approach, and using the UDID, is not permissible without asking for the express and clear permission of the user first.
Users should expect a significant number of apps to start doing that now, particularly apps that utilize a social network.