Why Apple Nearly Kicked Uber Out of the App Store

Uber’s willingness to openly disregard Apple’s App Store guidelines almost prompted Tim Cook to kick the popular ridesharing app off the App Store altogether, according to a new report from The New York Times. In a fascinating profile of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, a controversial figure to say the least, we learn that Kalanick in late 2014 instructed his software engineers to develop a way for the company to identify specific iPhones even when individuals deleted the Uber app from their devices.

When Apple got wind of what was going on in 2015, Tim Cook — who has long been an outspoken proponent of user privacy — took the issue incredibly seriously.

For months, Mr. Kalanick had pulled a fast one on Apple by directing his employees to help camouflage the ride-hailing app from Apple’s engineers. The reason? So Apple would not find out that Uber had secretly been tracking iPhones even after its app had been deleted from the devices, violating Apple’s privacy guidelines.

But Apple was on to 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. “So, I’ve heard you’ve been breaking some of our rules,” Mr. Cook said in his calm, Southern tone. Stop the trickery, Mr. Cook then demanded, or Uber’s app would be kicked out of Apple’s App Store.

According to the report, Kalanick’s meeting with Cook left him “shaken.”

Uber’s app was never removed from the App Store but this wouldn’t be the last time that Uber’s tracking activities would make headlines.

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SOURCE: Yoni Heisler 

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