An interesting meeting between Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Apple CEO Tim Cook that took place back in 2015 has been described in a new report by The New York Times. Cook apparently called Kalanick for a one-on-one after the company found out that Uber had found a secret way to track individual iPhones even once the ride-sharing service’s app was removed from the phone. He was predictable unhappy about it.
What Uber had figured out is commonly referred to as fingerprinting and is not allowed by Apple. To make sure that Apple didn’t find out, Uber geofenced Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, changing its code so that Apple employees were not able to find what it was doing.
Despite all of Uber’s efforts to mask the fingerprinting efforts, Apple employees were able to find what it was up to and this led to a meeting between the two CEOs.
Cook voiced his displeasure over the practice and told Kalanick to see that the practice of fingerprinting iPhone users ended immediately or else Apple would ban the Uber app from the App Store.
Had it come to that, Uber would have lost out on tens of millions of potential users. Kalanick was obviously concerned, with the report mentioning that he was “shaken by Mr. Cook’s scolding.” It goes without saying that Uber ended the practice.