UDID Gone: Apple Removed the Trackable ID from iOS

One of the landmarks for iOS developers has been thrown in the trash.


Developers who have begun working with the iOS 5 beta are now showing that Apple has removed the Unique Device Identifier feature that allows developers to identify and track specific users.  This tool has been used by different apps, both from Apple and from third party developers, along with iAd so that they can keep an eye on the user and curtail content and advertising to them.  The change will mean that there is not a consistent UDID to follow users, and instead it will be decentralized and developers will have to create a unique identifier for their specific app or purpose.

This does not mean that Apple has gotten rid of the UDID necessarily, but simply that developers do not have access to it.  This may still be implemented by Apple and used exclusively for their own purposes, which may indicate that they want to create patented technology with new apps that may begin rolling out with the release of the full iOS 5 and the iPhone 5.


Many analysts are making the assumption that the removal of the UDID was to curb responses by privacy activists, but there is not much to indicate that this is true.  The UDID was a major invasion to many users and allowed advertising an even more candid look into people’s lives, but the uproar about it was so small that it took a major back seat.  This is step forward for those who want more autonomy on their smart phones, but Apple likely has a different purpose for its removal of the UDID on the iOS 5.  Its hard to tell exactly what this is right now, so we will have to continue to wait and see.

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