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Apple CEO Tim Cook Threatened to Pull Uber from App Store


Hand holding a phone with the Uber app

Everybody should remember that some time ago, Apple refused to allow the FBI to unlock and search through the iPhone of a supposed terrorist. So, it should be quite clear by now that the company really cares for its users’ security and safety. And its CEO, Tim Cook, cares too. This is why, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick got into some trouble during a 2015 meeting with Apple’s CEO.

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Uber was breaking the rules

Travis Kalanick reportedly instructed his engineers to hide a feature in the ride hailing app. This supposedly allowed Uber to not only track, but also identify the users even after they had deleted the app. However, Apple reportedly knew about the whole trick and, during a meeting from 2015, Tim Cook questioned Kalanick about the issue. The Apple CEO supposedly told the Uber chief that the company needed to stop the trickery. Otherwise, he would have excluded the Uber app from the store. What Uber was doing was reportedly violating Apple’s privacy rules and something like that was completely unacceptable.

So, Kalanick, for fear that this might mean the end of his ride-hailing app, accepted to stop using that feature which identified and tracked the users. However, the company supposedly denied that it used it to track the locations of the users. According to them, the company implemented that feature to detect fraud among their customers. According to an official statement from the company, many companies are taking such measures in order to detect any frauds. For example, a thief can install and use Uber on a stolen phone, or someone can pay for the ride with a stolen card.

Not the first such problem

It is worth noting that Uber faced another similar issue when a report revealed that the company had been using a tool called Greyball. They used this feature to avoid getting caught by authorities because of some local regulations the app might have violated. After being caught red-handed, the company promised to stop using Greyball for those purposes. Another similar thing happened back in 2014. An Uber executive supposedly used the app’s “God View” to track the location of a reporter. For the moment, nobody knows if that 2015 meeting between Tim Cook and Travis Kalanick had anything to do with this “God View” feature too.

Image source: flickr


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