The New York Times reported that Uber violated Apple’s iOS privacy guidelines, and tried to cover it up.
According to the report, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick met with Apple CEO Tim Cook regarding the matter in 2015.
It stated that Uber employees helped camouflage the ride-hailing app from Apple’s engineers.
This was done so Apple would not “find out that Uber had been secretly identifying and tagging iPhones even after its app had been deleted and the devices erased”.
This was done as a fraud detection manoeuver, which violated Apple’s privacy guidelines.
Uber denied the accusation, saying it does not track individual users or their location “if they’ve deleted the app”.
It did admit to using methods described by the New York Times, but this was “a typical way to prevent fraudsters from loading Uber onto a stolen phone”.
Similar techniques are also used for detecting and blocking suspicious logins to protect user accounts.
“Being able to recognise known bad actors when they try to get back onto our network is an important security measure for both Uber and our users,” said Uber.