Uber tracked iPhones, almost deleted from the App Store

New problem for Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber: according to the New York Times, the ride-sharing app, in 2015, tracked users' iPhones

No end of problems for Uber. As the New York TImes reveals, in 2015, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, threatened Uber with deletion of the app from the App Store. The reason would be quite simple: Uber had developed a way to identify individual iPhones of users.

According to the famous US newspaper, the ride-sharing company monitored several information of users. In the article Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, is described as an eccentric entrepreneur and not very inclined to rules. An attitude that has allowed his company to grow quickly but is now leading to several problems. According to the New York Times, the first problems came when Uber tried to expand in China: to avoid fraud, the developers have devised a system to monitor individual iPhones even if the app had been removed.

The break with Apple

The practice used by Uber has a very precise name: fingerprinting and is absolutely forbidden by Apple, so that to avoid being discovered by Cupertino, Uber developers have tried to hide their system. After some time however Apple discovered the system and Cook decided to call Kalanick. During the meeting Tim Cook threatened Uber to stop or else he would remove the service from the App Store. Uber's CEO listened to Tim Cook's advice and invited its developers to change the app's code.

Uber's response

A company spokesperson responded, via The Verge website, to the facts reported by The New York Times, "Uber does not track individual users or their location. Tracking this data is a simple way to prevent scammers from using a stolen cell phone on Uber, thus also putting a stolen credit card on it. Similar techniques are also used to detect and block suspicious access and to protect our users' accounts. Being able to recognize malicious attackers is an important security measure for both Uber and our users, and certainly not a threat."