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Apple Asks Developers to Part Ways with iOS UDID Tracking

iPad maker Apple has asked its developers to refrain from using a tracking feature in iOS, which allows them to keep a track of users’ activities.

The controversial UDID or Unique Device Identifier is used by application developers to gather personal data about the users including the manner in which they use applications.

The company advised developers not to use the feature by indicating that the feature ‘has been superseded and may become unsupported in the future’. However, the company said that they could still create a unique identifier for individual applications.

Apple had incurred the wrath of consumers and privacy regulators after a Wall Street Journal investigation had revealed that 56 of the 101 most popular apps on iOS transmitted the devices’ unique identification number to third parties without the consent or knowledge of iPhone users.

The move will have a negative impact on third party advertising networks as they won’t be able to share data with apps to serve the right kind of advertisement. Analytics firms which use the UDID to conduct user behavior studies will also be affected.

The company failed to inform when the UDID feature will be permanently disabled but many believe that it might happen with the launch of iOS, which is expected sometime in September along with iPhone 5.