All You Need To Know About UDID & Why Apple Rejecting Apps That Ask For UDID
Privacy and online security have been showered with significant importance and for a good reason. UDID is nothing but the Unique Device Identifier assigned to every iOS device. Every iOS device including iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, has a unique identity for itself. This alphanumeric series code is absolutely the only way to identify each device as itself. Recently, Apple has started to reject the apps that need access to the UDID number. The developers confess that they have been expecting this change but there has been no official roll out yet.
If you are wondering what this UDID is or how this would affect you as a user, Read on
Every iOS device has a unique alphanumeric code assigned to it. When you connect your iOS device to iTunes, click on the summary tab to find your serial number which then changes to the UDID number. The recent article on the Wall Street Journal revealed that apps often send your UDID code to several databases. Because of this, the privacy of the app usage has become questionable. Until the days of iOS 5, the UDID was available to all developers without question. There was an official warning about demanding UDID permission to all developers once iOS 5.1 was introduced.
Confirmed: Apple Now Rejecting Apps For Use Of UDID
The first official confirmation that apps demanding the UDID Permission would be rejected was last week when the Tweetbot app was rejected. Does it really affect iOS users in any way? Let’s consider what permissions were sought before and what is allowed now and how the developers would take it in future now
What Is UDID Used For? UDID Tracking Your Personal Data:
The reason why iOS developers are banned from taking UDID permission now is that earlier most app has taken this data without prior permission from the casual user. Each UDID number is unique and the app developer can easily verify that you have the specific app based on the UDID number. Let’s find out how UDID information was used.
The UDID is similar to a license number for a driver. On its own, it had no value but when it was on a database, it was used to track the statistical value of any particular app. This data from the tracking is the crux of how any ad network works.
A number of ad services extract the information from the database to collect information. This, in turn, helps them to send targeted ads to you as a user. Usually, free apps use these ad services to generate revenue for their app. Your UDID number can be in a database that collects information from other apps that you have downloaded and installed on your device. This helps in the marketing perspective to get an idea on what would attract you to buy. For example, based on the games, news apps, shopping apps that you have downloaded and granted UDID permission, your device would be targeted for relevant ads.
Sometimes, your UDID may also be connected to your social media profile, username, login credentials, and sensitive data like passwords. Unencrypted data could pose a threat to your privacy as it would be easy to access the required information. Although UDID is technically nothing but a random alphanumeric series, put together in a data base, it is a critical data that could pose a cyber security threat.
In fact, some apps use the UDID number to track your usage limit for their apps. For instance, if you were ever playing a multiplayer game that required no user profiles, you were probably being tracked by your UDID code. UDID might also be used just for notification settings or login information by many apps.
What Happens If Someone Gets Your UDID, How Would A User Be Affected?
The only changes a casual user will probably notice is the way a few notification setting change. There might be small changes that may seem a bit inconvenient at first. For example, in Tweetbot, it was all about a simple push notification setting.
Tweetbot had explained saying that they had used the UDID data as means to help in the push notification services. When Tweetbot was deleted, these settings helped to restore the settings when it was installed again. Now we would have to manually do the push notifications settings again.
Most apps have declared that they have used the UDID to get insignificant harmless data from the end user such as user tokens that help to verify the settings. We cannot place the similar theory when we consider ad networks. The ads that take information about purchases made by a user is the primary reason for them to track UDID codes.
As a user, you might have to create new login credentials on apps that had previously used your UDID as your identity information. For apps that support ads, you might be asked to give away your UDID information when you give consent to download the app.
With the recent developments and the integration of game Centre with iCloud, a lot of setting changes and configurations are expected. The changes expected from apps like Tweetbot would not affect you at all. Most apps use the iCloud to store user data these days so this change is less likely to affect anything at all. The core functionality of most apps do not depend on the UDID information and end users would not notice any big changes. Now, with the details about UDID and its significance, think twice before you grant permission to apps to use your data.