Are Uber spying on you?
Apparently dissatisfied with their reputation being in complete tatters following revelations about their app that meant them being banned from London, Uber have been revealed to have made a deal with Apple which means that they can record everything on your iPhone’s screen, even when the app is running in the background, according to security researchers.
Having been scolded for treating their staff terribly, covering up sexual assaults by staff, using predatory pricing and actively avoiding law enforcement through its ‘Greyball’ coding, Uber has now decided that it hasn’t caused enough controversy.
According to The Independent, the software has been found to have a special permission, which is off-limits to most app developers, that allows it to monitor everything iPhone users look at on their handsets, including passwords and private pictures.
Responding to the revelation, Uber has said that the feature is not currently in use and will be removed in the future. It is not known whether many will believe a company not recognised for its honesty and ethical approach to business.
It was spotted by security researcher Will Strafach, who described it as “very unusual” and said it was “totally unprecedented” that Apple granted such permission to the taxi-hailing app company.
The company is no stranger to controversy, however, and insists that the feature was not included to spy on its users. It’s extremely rare that developers are allowed to use this feature, giving birth to plenty of conspiracy theories online. Twitter users have been wondering exactly what a company could do with their personal data, and whilst the company denies using it for anything, many are outraged that they were never told it held the ability.
An Uber spokesperson told the Independent: “This API was only used for a short period of time on an old version of our Apple Watch app. It enabled the app to run the memory-intensive rendering of maps on the iPhone and then send the image to the Watch app.
"It was never used for any other purpose and has been nonfunctional in our code for quite some time. The memory limitation of Apple Watch was fixed by subsequent updates in the OS and we've issued an update to our app to remove the API completely."