Tim Cook threatened to pull Uber app from App Store

Travis Kalanick

Travis Kalanick

Recently, the New York Times reported how Uber CEO Travis Kalanick ordered their companies to devise a way to hide the app's tracking activities from Apple engineers.

In an effort to thwart such deceits, Uber created persistent ID tags on iPhones so that each could be identified even if the phone's information was wiped.

When Apple found the Uber details of 2015, Tim Cook - who has been known as a defender of user privacy - took the issue seriously.

When you delete Uber account data, it also removes data from Uber's food app, UberEats.

Uber's new privacy settings will also allow users to have more control over notifications sent by Uber and the ability to withhold their location from within the app.

But Apple was onto the deception, and when Mr. Kalanick arrived at the midafternoon meeting sporting his favorite pair of bright red sneakers and hot-pink socks, Mr. Cook was prepared.

The same report shared that the idea was conceived as early as 2014 after Uber learned that in several regions like in China, they had to deal with a lot of fake rider accounts through stolen or resold iPhones along with fraud email addresses. According to the paper, Uber was fighting fraud worldwide at a time when it offered bonuses to drivers if they did more rides. "Stop the trickery or Uber's app would be kicked out of Apple's App Store", Cook reportedly warned Kalanick during the meeting. With that, Uber can continuously recognize an iPhone once it was used to register for an Uber rider account. And to prevent Apple from finding out what it was doing, Uber geofenced the headquarters of the Cupertino, California-based tech giant.

Denying wrongdoing, Uber said, "We absolutely do not track individual users or their location if they've deleted the app". From there, Cook asked Uber to quit their game of cloak and daggers, while wielding the axe over Uber's presence in the Apple's App Store as an "incentive" to comply as soon as possible. In order to get around that rule, Uber geofenced Apple headquarters, hiding code from Apple engineers to keep them in the dark over Uber's business practices, according to the New York Times.

"This is a typical way to prevent fraudsters from loading Uber onto a stolen phone, putting in a stolen credit card, taking an expensive ride and then wiping the phone-over and over again".

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