In the wake of the recent uproar over privacy violations by App Store Apps, Apple has begun rejecting apps which attempt to access iOS-device UDIDs (Unique Device Identifiers). However the change was half-expected after the company warned developers it would begin deprecating UDIDs in upcoming iOS versions. This usually would have given app developers at least one more iteration of the operation system before the functionality was completely withdrawn, yet Apple has seemingly pulled the rug from under developers’ feet early by disallowing the practice with immediate effect.
Every Apple device carries its own UDID, which can be used by ad companies or developers to assist them in targeting specific products to users or to track user behavior. Cookies, on the other hand, usually only record network addresses and so are not usually used to identify specific devices.
US Congress recently set up an investigation into app privacy after the Path iOS app was discovered to be uploading users’ address books without first obtaining permission. One possible solution doing the rounds in the development community is to request permission from users to use their UDIDs, in the same way Android users are asked to enable various permissions when installing new apps.
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