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Tim Cook Threatened Uber With Removal From App Store

Maura

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According to a big article about Uber in The New York Times, via 9to5 Mac, Apple CEO Tim Cook once invited Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to a meeting at Apple’s headquarters, where Cook opened with, “So I’ve heard you’ve been breaking some of our rules.”

Here, Cook was referring to how Uber had tried to fool Apple engineers by assigning a persistent identity to iPhones using code, otherwise known as “fingerprinting,” which directly contravenes Apple’s rules, which are designed to prevent devices being traceable to an owner’s identity once the device has been erased.

The move by Uber’s engineers was sanctioned by Kalanick himself, who told his engineers to “geofence” Apple’s Cupertino base in order to digitally identify anyone reviewing Uber from a particular location. This would prevent people in that area from seeing the code, meaning that Apple employees would not be able to detect Uber’s fingerprinting activities.

However, Apple engineers soon discovered what Uber was up to, hence Tim Cook summoning Kalanick to his office.

According to The New York Times, after his opening salvo, Cook then proceeded to warn Kalanick that unless Uber stopped fingerprinting and started operating the app within Apple’s guidelines, it would be pulled from the App Store.
“For Mr. Kalanick, the moment was fraught with tension. If Uber’s app was yanked from the App Store, it would lose access to millions of iPhone customers-essentially destroying the ride-hailing company’s business. So Mr. Kalanick acceded.”

Source: Tim Cook reportedly threatened to remove Uber from the App Store in CEO meeting
 

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