Amid Privacy Concerns, Apple Has Started Rejecting Apps That Access UDIDs

Amid Privacy Concerns, Apple Has Started Rejecting Apps That Access UDIDs

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Amid extra scrutiny from Congress around privacy issues, Apple this week has started rejecting apps that access UDIDs, or identification numbers that are unique to every iPhone and iPad.

Apple had already given developers a heads-up about the change more than six months ago when it said in some iOS documentation that it was going to deprecate UDIDs. But it looks like Apple is moving ahead of schedule with pressure from lawmakers and the media. It can take more than a year to deprecate features because developers need time to adjust and change their apps. A few weeks ago, some of the bigger mobile-social developers told me that Apple had reached out and warned them to move away from UDIDs.

But this is the first time Apple has issued outright rejections for using UDIDs.

“Everyone’s scrambling to get something into place,” said Victor Rubba, chief executive of Fluik, a Canadian developer that makes games like Office Jerk and Plumber Crack. “We’re trying to be proactive and we’ve already moved to an alternative scheme.” Rubba said he isn’t sending any updates until he sees how the situation shakes out in the next few days.

For those unaware, the UDID is an alphanumeric string that is unique to each Apple device. It’s currently used by mobile ad networks, game networks, analytics providers, developers and app testing systems, like TestFlight, for example.

Playhaven, which helps developers monetize more than 1,200 games across iOS and Android, said several of its customers had been rejected in the last week. The company’s chief executive Andy Yang says that developers should try and stay as flexible as possible by supporting multiple ID systems until there’s a clear replacement.              More